A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848. 2 pp preliminary undated ads. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt.
First Edition of the fifth and last of Dickens's illustrated Christmas books (none had been published in 1847, when he had been busy working on DOMBEY AND SON). This is the tale of Redlaw the chemist, who makes a pact with his "evil genius" to remove all of his memories, only to be saved in the end by his guiding angel. The book is illustrated by John Leech, John Tenniel and others.
In this copy, the first page numeral on p. 166 is damaged -- which, though priority is uncertain, is the only identifiable issue point of this book. This is a near-fine copy (spine slightly faded, just a touch of wear at the spine corners); atypically the original delicate endpapers are intact. The front free endpaper bears the inked inscription "Ellen F. Lee | from her father | December 25 1848" -- Christmas Day, six days after publication. Smith II pp 66-70; Podeschi (Yale) A119. Item #13914