First Edition, First Issue of "A Tale of Two Cities"
DICKENS, Charles. Tale of Two Cities. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Chapman and Hall , 1859.
First edition, first issue. With all eight of Smith's internal flaws necessary for the first issue present, including page 213 misnumbered 113. Octavo (8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches; 215 x 135 mm). [i-vii] viii [ix-x], [1] 2-254 pp. Sixteen inserted plates, including frontispiece and engraved vignette title, by Browne ['Phiz']. Without the publisher's catalog bound at the end.

Full polished calf, bound by F. Bedford. Rebacked, with original spine laid down. Boards triple-ruled in gilt. Spine elaborately stamped in gilt. Spine with red and green morocco spine labels, lettered in gilt. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Dark green coated endpapers. Previous owner's bookplates on front and back pastedowns. Binding is strong, but shows the repairs, and inner hinges are cracked but firm. Some occasional light foxing to margins of plates, not affecting the engraving. Overall a very good copy.

A Tale of Two Cities was first serialized in Dickensís periodical All the Year Round, from April 30-November 26, 1859. Its appearance in monthly parts (July-December 1859) and book form mark Dickensís return to his old publishers Chapman and Hall, after a long stay with Bradbury and Evans. The extremely large audience for the novel in All the Year Round, however, left less than the usual demand for the parts issue and, at first, for the book, both of which are now quite rare. This title also marks the authorís final collaboration with Phiz, Dickensís most evocative and most sympathetic illustrator.

Hatton and Cleaver, 33lff. Smith I, 13.

HBS # 67884 $2,000