London: Richard Bentley, 1838. First edition. First edition in three volumes in the original publisher's fine diaper cloth with arabesque designs on the boards. First issues with Boz on the title pages (not "Charles Dickens") and with the "fireside plate" in volume 3. Bound with all half-titles and ads as required by Smith. A set that is a little better than Good, but not much. Amateur repairs to the spines of all three volumes. Internal contents generally clean although with scattered foxing, most noticeable near the plates.
Dickens' second novel, "Oliver Twist," is a dark and biting work, but one that is balanced with Oliver's indefatigable innocence and charm. Often cited as the first Victorian novel to feature a child protagonist, it was developed as a social commentary and a call for improving the conditions of London's destitute and orphan children. And it was immensely successful, both as a novel filled with memorable characters and also as a work prompting much needed reform. Today it remains high within the pantheon of Victorian literature and is a work that has been successfully adapted to both the stage and screen. (Item #1281)