London: Chapman and Hall, 1865. Item #04434
“Mew says the cat, Quack says the duck, Bow-wow-wow says the dog!" (Mr. Boffin)
DICKENS, Charles. Our Mutual Friend. With Illustrations by Marcus Stone. In Two Volumes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1865.
First edition in book form, first issue with 'pricipal' for 'principal' (Vol II, p. 115, 14 lines up).
Two octavo volumes (8 5/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 211 x 136 mm.). xi, [1, blank], 320.; vii, [viii, List of Illustrations], 309, [1, imprint] pp.
Forty black and white engraved plates by Marcus Stone, including frontispieces. Charles Dickens. A Tribute to Genius 1812-1912 Testimonial stamp affixed to the blank verso of the lists of illustrations in volumes 1 & 2.
The plates are in unusually nice condition with most quite clean and only a few exhibiting just the lightest of mottling and toning to margins.
Contemporary full dark green hard-grain morocco, covers bordered in blind surround an elaborate gilt frame design. Spines with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Gilt ruled board edges and decorative gilt turn-ins, marbled end-papers, all edges gilt. With the blind stamp of A.R. Hicks, Bookseller & Stationer, Upper Head Row, Leeds, on the top corner of each free end-paper. A fine example in it's original binding of 1865 having been bound from the original parts.
Our Mutual Friend, originally appeared in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly parts, the last part forming a double number, from May 1864 - November 1865. The first volume was published in book form on January 20, 1865; the second on October 21, 1865. 11s each." (Smith). It is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining savage satire with social analysis. It centers on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, quoting from the character Bella Wilfer in the book, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life."
In the opening chapters a body is found in the River Thames and identified as that of John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society.
A.R. Hicks, Booksellers. The Leeds Intelligencer of May 6th, 1865 shows an advertisement for A.R. Hicks, Bookseller & Stationer, Upperhead Row, Leeds.
Robert J. Hayhurst, inherited and improved a successful group of retail pharmacies, John Hayhurst & Son, based in Nelson, Lancashire, and became an avid collector of naval history and of eighteenth-century literature in contemporary bindings; "Mr. R. J. Hayhurst believes that most pharmacists neglect one of their most valuable assets — the tradition and dignity of the pharmacy. His historical sense, indeed, is no narrow one, for his feeling for the past reveals itself also in his hobbies. A collector of books, in a delightful room at his home, white-painted bookshelves stacked high on all the available wall space show to advantage the hand-tooled leather bindings of a collection that has been acquired slowly and with discrimination over the years" (The Chemist and Druggist, 7 September, 1957).
Smith I, 15. Sadleir 687. Eckel pp. 94-95.