First American Edition of Dickens’ First Book to be Printed in America
DICKENS, Charles. Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Containing a Faithful Record of the Perambulations, Perils, Travels, Adventures and Sporting Transactions of the Corresponding Members. Edited by "Boz." Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard , 1836-37.
First edition (Precedes the first English edition in book form and precedes the New York edition in parts by 2 years). Volume I, 1st issue with no 'Part First' on title or spine label. Volume II, 2nd issue with 'sporting' on one line on title-page. All other volumes 1st issue. Five twelvemo volumes (7 7/16 x 4 5/16 inches; 188 x 111 mm). [2, blank], [5-6, publisher’s ads], vii-xii, [13]-219, [1, publisher's ads], [4, publisher's catalog]; iv, [5]-228; [4, publisher's ads], iv, [5]-232, [4, publisher's ads], [2, blank]; [2, blank], [4, publisher's ads], iv, [5]-223, [3, blank]; [2, blank], [4, publisher's ads], viii, [5]-205, [1, blank], [3, publisher's ads], [11, table of contents for v. I and v. II.], [2, blank] pp. Volume I with the final 4-page advertisements entitled “new novels”, not the 12 page publisher ads. Regarding this Smith notes, “Some copies of Part First may have only four pages of numbered advertisements bound in at the end headed “New Novels, &C.”

Original quarter pink cloth over brown drab boards. Printed paper spine labels. Boards with wear and spines sunned. Labels are rubbed and occasionally chipped, but are mostly still legible. Leaves foxed and toned, as usual for American sheets. Volume I with previous owner's old ink signature on front free endpaper. Some mild marginal damp staining to Volume I, only touching text in the back advertisements. Volume III with pages 129-132 sprung. Volume IV slightly skewed. Occasion signatures printed on darker brownish-pink paper, including Volume II, signatures 1-7 and 9, and Volume IV, signatures 11 and 13. All volumes housed in a red cloth clamshell with printed paper label. Overall a very good set.

"This rare american edition preceded the English book edition by several months. The volumes were issued between November 1836 and December 1837. After the initial publication of volume I the volumes were issued simultaneously with the parts in England. Only about 1500 copies of the first volume were issued and this is now hard to find in the first issue state. As Dickens' popularity grew, so the print run for subsequent parts increased and volumes I and II were reissued." (Sotheby's).

Smith, 2.

HBS # 68503 $6,500