Charles Dickens: Christmas Books

Priced individually as shown, or $500 + $30 airmail and insurance for all three.

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Christmas Carol 1st edition, 2nd state, $12,000


The Cricket on the Hearth, Bradbury and Evans, 1846

A decent (very good plus) copy. First edition, second state, with end advert for new edition of Oliver Twist. Repair to lower left spine. Some bumping/rubbing to cover. Slightly cocked. Front hinge split but reasonably firm. Internally sound, with age-fading round the edges of the pages, but no foxing. 174+2 pages, gilt-edged. $185 (+ $20 airmail and insurance) 

This is the  third of Dickens's five Christmas books.  John Peerybingle is much younger than his wife Dot and becomes worried that she may be having an affair. He consults the spirit of the cricket on the hearth, which Dot has said brings luck and is reassured that all will be well. Dickens took up the theme in David Copperfield, where Dr. Strong nurses similar doubts about his much younger wife.

The Battle of Life, Bradbury and Evans, 1846



A very good copy. First edition, fourth state vignette, but with two of the three textual flaws associated with the second state. These are the missing full stop (period) after the page title heading on pages 168 and 50. The third second state textual flaw (the missing "9" on page 169) has been corrected, making this a mixed state copy. The spine and cover are a little faded, with some cracking along the edges of the spine. Hinges cracked, the front one a little tender, but basically firm. Some rubbing and wear to corners. Slightly cocked. Altogether an acceptable but not outstanding copy. The mixed state issue points will no doubt be of interest to  hardcore Dickens collectors. 175 + 2 pages, gilt-edged. $185 (+ $20 airmail and insurance) 

The story focuses on the cynical Dr. Jeddler, whose daughters make sacrifices in love which lead him to a change of heart. The character of Clemency Newcome strongly resembles Clare Peggotty in David Copperfield. 

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain, Bradbury and Evans, 1848


Very good, with some damage to the spine.  Front hinge cracked but firm. Slightly cocked. Very sound internally. Issue point: this is one of very few copies in which the "E" of "EXTRAORDINARY" on the copyright page is not slightly raised. 2 + 188 pages. $185 (+ $20 posting and insurance)

The central character of this story is a chemistry professor called Mr. Redlaw. He is visited on Christmas Eve by his phantom double, who gives him the gift of forgetting his painful memories of the past. This gift gets passed on to others who come into contact with him, including Philip Swidger, an old man whose happiness stems from his memories of the past, and other members of his family, who are adversely affected. In the end the spell is lifted by Milly Swidger, whose good nature is based on her sad memories of her dead child.