Boz' Works -- No. 21. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842. Original self-wrapper (serving as title page); lacking the rear wrapper.
Fourth American Edition (just two days after the first!) -- second issue. As first put forth in a 1975 article by Peter Bracher and soon to be confirmed in Walter Smith's upcoming bibliography, this edition was published on November 9th, 1842 (two days after Winchester's "New World" edition and Wilson's "Brother Jonathan" edition -- and one day after Harper's edition). Dickens was so upset by the lack of an international copyright law, he forewent any negotiations with American publishers -- which is why none of these publishers had advance sheets, and all simply had to wait in the harbor for the first boat to arrive with copies of the UK edition (published October 19th), and then rush to press.
This Lea and Blanchard edition has 103 pages of double-column text -- actually 107 pages, because inserted between pages 88 and 89 are the two leaves containing pages 85* through 89*, a portion of text that the printers in their rush had omitted. It was initially published on November 9th, with a frontispiece portrait of Dickens and with "With a Portrait of the Author" on the title page/front wrapper; it was priced at 25 cents, double the "New World" and "Brother Jonathan" prices -- i.e., doomed. Thus on the very next day, the 10th, L&B announced a "new edition" (but really just altered copies priced at 12-1/2 cents) withOUT the portrait and with the pertinent line on the title page heavily inked out.
This is such a second-issue copy (the heavy swath of ink gradually ate away that part of the title leaf, leaving a long narrow hole that has since been backed by archival paper). This copy was apparently once bound up in something more substantial, and now lacks its rear wrapper; the front leaf and final leaf have significant edge-wear. In our experience this is the scarcest, and the most fragile, of the four earliest American editions. Not in Podeschi (Yale); not in Carr (UTexas) B479; not noted by Wilkins. Item #14159