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Bleak House
London: Bradbury and Evans,, 1853. Octavo (202 × 131 mm). Bound in recent blue crushed morocco by Bayntun, titles and decoration to spine gilt, portrait of Dickens tooled in gilt to front cover, and facsimile of his signature to rear cover, all edges and turn-ins gilt, marbled endpapers. Etched frontispiece, vignette title-page, and 38 plates (including the 10 "dark" plates) by "Phiz" ( H. K. Browne). Some occasional mild foxing to contents; an excellent copy, attractively bound. First edition, with the first-issue textual points as listed by Smith. H. K. Browne had experimented with the "dark plate" technique in Dombey and Son (1848) but in Bleak House their sombreness added a new tone to the illustration of Dickens's books. "As Dickens's vision of society darkened, Browne adjusted his techniques, pioneering in the use of 'dark plates', where the plate was machine-ruled in parallel grooves which printed an almost uniform tone either before or after the figures and background were hand drawn. These brooding, atmospheric designs harmonized with the gloomy, foggy world of Bleak House and Little Dorrit" (Robert Patten in The Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens, 2011, p. 59).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2016-11-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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