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A CHRISTMAS CAROL
1844. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1844. Preliminary ad leaf dated July 1844. Original cream printed wrappers. First American Edition. There has long been an open question as to whether Harper's edition or Carey & Hart's edition came out first in America. Carey & Hart's is certainly the lovelier of the two -- bound in cloth decorated in gilt, with almost-exact facsimiles of the English edition's illustrations (some in color). Walter Smith's upcoming bibliography of Dickens's American editions will assert that this Harper edition is the earlier -- and it stands to reason that Harper's, poorly printed in double columns, unillustrated, and sewn into cheap wrappers, was able to beat the finely-produced illustrated Carey & Hart production onto the streets.~This copy has the ad leaf preceding the title leaf, and the Preface on the verso of the title page, which Podeschi says indicates the second state (in the first, the title and the Preface are on separate leaves with blank versos, and there is no ad leaf); the ad leaf is dated "July, 1844" and does mention this title (-- for sale at 6-1/4 cents -- though the front wrapper says 6 cents even). Also, the inside rear cover is dated "August, 1844," and the front inside cover and rear cover are dated "October, 1844." In our experience, almost all copies that occasionally come onto the market are in this "second state."~Condition is very good-plus, with a few nicks (but scarcely any loss) in the edge of the wrappers, plus a few small faint stains and an early owner's name stamped onto the front wrapper. Though not a fine copy, it is the best of the four copies we have been able to offer over the course of our 35 years in business. Podeschi (Yale) A81 #3 (with blue wrapper); not in Carr (the VanderPoel collection at Texas). Housed in a (slightly worn) morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.
      [Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman]
Last Found On: 2014-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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