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The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
London: Chapman and Hall. London: Chapman and Hall. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. FIRST BOOK EDITION IN SCARCE PUBLISHER'S DELUXE MOROCCO BINDING, of Dickens's third published novel; one of his most successful works, establishing his lasting reputation. "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby had begun its monthly part-issue in March 1838 and was completed in twenty numbers in October 1839. This story, which for thirteen months Dickens wrote alongside Oliver Twist, originated in his determination to expose the scandal of unwanted children consigned to remote and brutal Yorkshire schools; accompanied by Browne, he conducted an on-the-spot midwinter investigation just before beginning to write Nickleby. In this rambling, episodic, often wildly funny book, written very much in the mode of the Smollett novels Dickens had devoured as a child, the Yorkshire school setting is soon left behind, and the gallant young hero and his pathetic protégé, Smike, wander forth to undergo various adventures, both farcical and melodramatic; they are persecuted by Nicholas's wicked uncle and other villains, who also threaten the virtue of Nicholas's pure young sister Kate, but all is eventually set right by the benevolent Cheeryble brothers, though they cannot save Smike. The story is rich in unforgettable comic characters like the endlessly garrulous Mrs Nickleby and the strolling player Vincent Crummles and his troupe, and in places it resembles Sketches by Boz in its vivid evocation of particular London neighbourhoods" (Dictionary of National Biography). 
 Complete with 40 plates (including frontispiece) by Phiz. Issue points: Nickleby is a notoriously complex book bibliographically. This copy with 36 of 41 first issue points as noted in Smith; including "latter" for "letter" (p. 160) but with "sister" for "visiter" (p.123). Frontispiece and first two plates with Chapman and Hall imprint (first state); third and fourth without imprint. London: Chapman and Hall, 1839. Octavo, original publisher's green morocco rebacked with original spine laid down. Some rubbing to upper joint of binding; browning to margins of plates (as usual). A very good copy in the very rare publisher's presentation morocco.
      [Bookseller: The Manhattan Rare Book Company]
Last Found On: 2014-06-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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