"Bleak House" in Original Parts. Complete with Every Ad and Wrapper.
DICKENS, Charles. Bleak House. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Bradbury and Evans , 1853.
First edition, in the original monthly parts, twenty numbers bound in nineteen. Octavo (8 3/4 x 5 5/8 inches; 224 x 142 mm). [i-vii]. viii-x[xi]xii-xiv[xv]xvi, [1]2-624. With forty inserted plates by "Phiz," including frontispiece and vignette title. Collates totally complete, with all text, plates, wrappers, all 244 pp. of "Advertiser" ads, and eighty-two inset ads. This copy also has duplicates of two ads.

Original green printed wrappers. The usual rubbing and light wear, and some light soiling to wrappers and plates. Some minor ink notes on top margin of front wrapper of part XV. Still, a handsome, near fine copy. Housed in a green cloth clamshell which is a bit soiled.

"[I]n Bleak House for the first time [society] is seen as an absurdity, an irrelevance, almost a madness. A dark force from which the real people must escape in order to create another society of their own... [Dickens] had been preparing for this novel all his life and, despite the calamities... which had helped to provoke it in the first place, ... was even happy while he was writing it... It might even be said that Bleak House cured the very malaise which was responsible for its composition" (Ackroyd, 649-50). "The Dickens cosmos, his phantasmagoric London and visionary England, emerges in Bleak House with a clarity and pungency that surpasses the rest of his work, before and after" (Bloom, 311). Ten of the 40 plates are Browne’s striking "dark plates," deeply etched with a mezzotint-like chiaroscuro contrast (Hatton & Cleaver, 276).

Hatton and Cleaver, pp. 275-304. Gimbel A131. Smith, Dickens, I, 10.

HBS # 68049 $6,500