London: Chapman and Hall, 1837. First edition. Bound in the publisher's full crushed purple morocco, all edges gilt. Stamped in gilt on the spine and with blind rules on the boards and spine. With original yellow-coated end papers. Joints holding well although three short tears at the crown where it looks like someone pulled the book from a shelf at the crown, causing three .5 inch tears. Inner hinges just starting, but holding well. The book complete and entirely unrestored. Generally clean internally, with less foxing near the plates than many copies. A Very Good+ copy, rarely found in this deluxe format (often used by Dickens for presentation copies).
Collating [xvi], 609, , complete with half title and 43 inserted plates. A few of Hatton and Cleaver's first issue points to the later half of text; all plates in the Phiz states and with the later Chapman & Hall imprints. Given that the early parts continued to be reprinted (and corrected) while the later parts were produced, it is common for the cloth-bound (or publisher's morocco-bound copies) to have most the the earlier misprints corrected, as here.
Dickens' first novel, showcasing his astounding talent for sketching charming, sympathetic characters, helped to launch his career. "Its main literary value and appeal was formed by its numerous memorable characters...The Pickwick Papers are mostly a series of humorous misadventures, with a bit of satire, that give some insight into the mores of Victorian society. You can witness Dickens here working on a few prototypes that will show up in later novels...you also see his social consciousness manifesting itself" (Inverarity). An important early work that remains beloved by Dickens' fans for its sensationalism and humor. Very Good + (Item #5218)