London: Richard Bentley, 1838. First edition. First edition in three volumes in the original publisher's cloth with the only repair at the inner hinges of Vol. 3, otherwise untouched. 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. An excellent set in reddish-brown fine diaper cloth with an arabesque design on the front and rear boards. Spines uniformly sunned, but gilt lettering still bright and legible. Internal contents are clean, fresh and generally in excellent condition. Short Maggs description tipped in on vol. 1 and dated 1955.
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. Quite scarce in the original cloth and without the type of restoration that takes a charming set and transfigures it beyond recognition. (Item #812)
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