[101 parts in original wrappers] London: Chapman and Hall, July 1871 - January 1880. Together, 101 issues (in 101 consecutive months, except that publication lapsed for two months in February-March 1878, between Nos. 79 and 80). Original blue printed wrappers.
The first appearance -- COMPLETE -- of the first collected edition of Dickens's works to be published after his death (beginning just 13 months after his death). Each novel runs through three to six monthly parts (often with one novel ending and another beginning within a single part); at the end of each novel are the preliminary leaves, with which a subscriber could have each novel bound up -- into a total of 22 volumes (including Forster's Life of Dickens at the end).~The name Household Edition "refers to the fact that this was literally an edition 'for the home', and was meant as kind of a 'library edition' for ordinary readers and the less affluent, who would be able, through careful budgeting, to purchase the entire run of twenty-two volumes over a protracted period."~For the Household Edition, Chapman and Hall commissioned new illustrations throughout, by in all eleven artists: "The series... was amply illustrated in a manner that the original Chapman and Hall monthly parts could not have been, with large-scale woodcut illustrations dropped right into the letterpress." [quotes from Allingham et al.]. If our math is correct, there is a total of 877 illustrations, of which 65 are full-page plates (bear in mind that a few of Dickens's novels, such as GREAT EXPECTATIONS and HARD TIMES, had not even been illustrated as first editions.)~All 101 parts are in their original blue printed wrappers, with no wrappers missing. There are occasional ad slips and catalogues inserted, and there is no evidence that any was excised; the Household Edition was not like a serialized Dickens first edition, wherein advertisers clamored to have ads at the beginning and end of almost every part.~Condition is remarkable. Many of the parts are simply fine -- with several dozen parts having leaves still unopened. Some parts have only trifling wear at the spine ends, but only a handful has more than that (a very few with worn spines, one part with a wrapper corner chipped away). There is light foxing on some wrappers or early/late leaves, but nothing extensive. The text illustrations are remarkably bold, and the full-page plates are too (curiously withOUT much of any foxing, though a couple have a ragged fore-edge from extending beyond the leaves). In all -- one could not hope to find a more complete, better-condition set; to our knowledge this is only the second set to appear on the market over the past several decades. See Podeschi (Yale) D66 (the Gimbel Collection at Yale includes only two of the 101 UK parts, though it has a large (but incomplete) group of the American issues). Item #13513