A Fairy Tale of Home. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846. 2 pp undated ads. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt.
First Edition of the third of Dickens's five Christmas books, dated 1846 but actually issued on December 20, 1845. This is the tale about John Peerybingle and the fairy cricket that prevents him from doubting his wife's sincerity; the illustrations are by John Leech, Richard Doyle and three others.~This copy has the Oliver Twist ad leaf in the second and usual state, with "No. I. of" on a line by itself. It is a bright copy, in near-fine condition (spine very slightly faded, but with scarcely any wear); atypically the delicate original endpapers are not cracked. The half-title bears the inked inscription "Ellen F. Lee | from her father | December 25 1845" -- Christmas Day, five days after publication. In our experience THE CRICKET, of the four "other" Christmas books, is the one that is least-often encountered in collectible condition. Podeschi (Yale) A92 (ad leaf not cited); Smith II pp 37-43. Item #13912