[DICKENS, Charles]. ~ Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz".
First edition, first issue. With the 24 engraved plates by George Cruikshank, all a little spotted as usual. 3 volumes. Large 12mo and 8vo., with the terminal 2 leaves of advertisements in Vol. I and the initial advertisement leaf in vol. 3, half-titles present in vols 1 and 2 (not called for in volume 3), original reddish-brown publisher’s cloth (vol. 1 skilfully recased) variant state binding with “London/ Bentley” at the foot of the spines (according to Smith, not a point of any significance), spines lettered in gilt, arabesque blind-stamps to sides. Spines faded, slight chipping to spine ends, a little marking to sides but generally a very good copy and, unusually, in the original cloth.
The first issue with the “Boz” title-pages and the final “fireside” plate. After publication, Dickens objected to both and the second edition has his name author on the titles and the final plate was substituted by the “Church” plate. The printing was shared between two, or maybe three, printers hence volumes 1 & 3 are in large 12mo format and volume 2 in 8vo.
Oliver Twist first appeared in Bentley’s “Miscellany” from February 1837 to April 1839.
In book form, it constitutes Dickens’s first novel to be published in the standard three-decker format of the day.
Provenance: Vols 2 & 3 have the understated “Sudeley” provenance at the head of the titles.