London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848. First edition. Finely bound by Morrell in three-quarter green morocco, all edges gilt, spines with intricate details and raised bands, marbled end papers. An excellent copy overall, with four additional portrait plates bound in, depicting characters from the novel.
Dombey and Son tackles a number of key themes that appear throughout Dickens' authorial career -- concerns about family duty, class position, child welfare, and the dangers of arranged marriages in particular. As the titular Dombey builds his shipping company, he fantasizes that his son will someday take over the business and continue his legacy. But England is changing rapidly due to the effects of industrialization, and its effects ripple throughout Victorian culture. One symbol of industrialization's promise (and its perils) is the railroad. In chapter six, Dickens calls the railroad's impact a "great earthquake." Dombey and Son grapples with the effects of industrialization, and the railroad is one of the novel's symbols for this momentous era. Near Fine (Item #2883)