Lot 167DICKENS, CHARLES ["BOZ"]
Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress. London: Richard Bentley, 1838. First edition, first issue title pages noting the author as "Boz," with the suppressed "Fireside" version of the Rose Maylie and Oliver plate at the end of the third volume. Three volumes, original publisher's binding of brown fine diaper cloth, blind arabesque blocking on the boards, spines in five blind-ruled compartments, gilt lettered in two, publisher's imprint at foot, yellow endpapers, uncut [Carter's binding variant B, no assigned priority according to Smith], protected in a modern book-form case. 8 x 4 5/8 inches (20 x 12 cm); [i-iv], [plate list, verso blank], 2-331 [1, blank], [4 ads]; [i-iv], 2-307 ; [2, ads], [i-iv], 2-315  (no half-title called for in volume III.), with twenty-four plates by George Cruikshank. An unsophisticated copy, the spines and corners unworn, very slight fading to spines, a minor ringmark to the rear cover of volume I and the front cover of volume III, hinges sound within, internally a fresh example with virtually none of the spotting which frequently afflicts this title.
Among the most desirable books of Dickens in original cloth, the book has an interesting publishing history. It was rushed into print November 9, 1838, before the serial publication in Bentley's Miscellany was complete, so the last few plates were completed in great haste. Dickens disliked both the final "Fireside" plate and the use of "Boz" on the titles, and the offending errors were corrected about a week after publication, so comparatively few examples are found in this initial state. The book was immensely popular, and many examples were read out of existence, and thus examples in attractive condition are exceedingly uncommon. This set is particularly pleasing. Smith I, 4.
Sold for $18,750
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