Speech of His Mightiness on opening the second number of Bentley's Miscellany, Edited by "Boz." [London: Richard Bentley, 1837.] Four-page leaflet, disbound.
First Edition, larger format, of this very scarce ephemeral Dickens piece -- which includes an illustration by "Phiz" that comprises the very first caricature of Dickens himself.
During 1836, a year which saw the publication of SKETCHES BY BOZ and the beginning of serialization of THE PICKWICK PAPERS, Dickens also accepted the editorship of Bentley's Miscellany, with publication to commence in January 1837. The first issue included a couple of Dickens pieces, and the second issue contained the first monthly instalment of OLIVER TWIST (this novel was serialized here prior to publication in book form; it was then re-serialized in "monthly parts" after publication in book form).
For the third (March) issue, Dickens wrote the "Extraordinary Gazette," written as if it were a royal proclamation (a speech by "his mightiness the editor"), proclaiming the virtues of Bentley's publishing house and including a thinly-veiled pitch for OLIVER TWIST. The "Extraordinary Gazette" was produced in two formats: in this large-format, four-page version, which was initially bound into the third issue of Bentley's Miscellany; and in a smaller-format, eight-page version (same illustration and text as the other, but with Contents of the first three issues plus "opinions of the press") -- for insertion into smaller-format books published by Bentley. The former is the scarcer of the two, and is virtually never found still bound into the Bentley's issue; the latter is quite uncommon as well.
This copy is disbound as usual (though it appears to be disbound as well from some other later binding-up). Condition is very good, with the understandable wear near the hinge. Podeschi E33, first copy. Housed in a cloth folding case. Item #12169