With Illustrations by Phiz. New-York: published by Harper & Brothers, 1844. 2 preliminary pages of undated ads. Original vertically-ribbed blind-stamped purple-brown cloth.
Very early American edition (second, by five days). While the UK edition was being published in 20-in-19 monthly serial parts, Harper published the novel in seven serial parts (six consisting of three UK parts each, followed by the seventh consisting of Part 19/20) -- issued irregularly between March 1843 and July 1844. Harper's final part was issued on July 22nd, and three days later (the 25th) they came out with the same leaves bound in cloth (as here), priced at $1.00 -- containing the same 14 plates, in seven facing pairs as had appeared serially. But J. Winchester of New York, after running the novel serially in his monthly "The New World" magazine, came out with his edition, bound in wrappers and with no illustrations, on July 20th -- priced at just 25 cents, which Winchester proudly proclaimed to be "the cheapest novel ever issued from the press."
MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT in Harper's seven actual wrappered parts is now exceedingly rare -- according to a Harper employee "the sale of the work in numbers was chiefly by newsboys on the street." Harper's book edition did not sell well -- partly because its price was four times Winchester's price, but also because the American public did not care for Dickens's criticisms of America in his recent AMERICAN NOTES and in the early chapters of MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT.
This copy is in the secondary binding state, used for leaves not yet bound up at year-end (by which time copies were being sold for 75 or 50 cents): it is identical to the first except that the date at the foot of the spine reads 1845 rather than 1844. Condition is very good (minor wear at the binding extremities, short tear at the top of the rear joint, light cover soil). Smith pp 199-206; Podeschi (Yale) A74 (disbound); Wilkins p. 24. Item #14134