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A Christmas Carol. In Prose being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
London: Chapman & Hall 1843 - First edition. Small 8vo. (8), 166, (2) pp. Publisher’s brown cloth, gilt lettered and decorated to the spine and upper board, yellow endpapers, recent red quarter morocco clamshell box. Four colour plates including the frontispiece plus three illustrations in the text. Wear to the spine extremities with slight loss to the cloth at the foot, small closed split to the cloth along the lower joint, though the binding is sound. Smith, II, 4. It is notoriously difficult to establish the precedence of the states and issues of this first edition, with no clear definition provided by the major Dickens bibliographers. This copy conforms with all of the points of the first issue cited by Smith, who gives no issue precedence as regards the colour of the title page or endpapers. According to his summation this is the first state of the first edition, first issue with Stave I as the first chapter heading, a red and blue printed title page dated 1843 and yellow endpapers. Furthermore, it complies with Todd’s issue point regarding the interval between the blindstamped border and the gilt wreath on the upper board, a theory which Smith gives credence to. Nonetheless, other bibliographers such as Gimbel, contend that the first state of the book should present a red and green printed title page dated 1844 and have light green endpapers. Calhoun and Heaney provide a compelling explanation for this discrepancy by arguing that the green and red title pages were probably printed first, but were immediately set aside when Dickens insisted on the discarding of the green endpapers pre-publication. They speculate that as demand grew and stocks of the preferred title pages and endpapers ran low the original stock of green and red title pages and matching endpapers were bound up until they too were exhausted. With no absolute consensus it is impossible to make any categorical claims for any copy of the first edition, but this is certainly a very early issue.
      [Bookseller: Bow Windows Bookshop (ABA, ILAB)]
Last Found On: 2013-09-16           Check availability:      IberLibro    

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