In Prose. Being A Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. Twelfth Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1845. 2 pp undated ads. Original red cloth decorated in gilt.
"Twelfth Edition," first (Chapman & Hall) issue -- the last C&H edition, still adorned with the hand-colored John Leech plates. A CHRISTMAS CAROL was initially published by Chapman & Hall in December 1843, and was a huge and immediate success. The first three editions were dated 1843 (though a few copies of the first edition were dated 1844), the fourth through tenth editions were dated 1844, the eleventh and twelfth were dated 1845, and finally the thirteenth and fourteenth (published by Bradbury & Evans) were dated 1855 and 1860 respectively. Additionally, when B&E took over following C&H's 1845 "Twelfth Edition," B&E issued their own "Eleventh Edition" dated 1846, followed by their own "Twelfth Edition" dated 1849 -- (presumably sheets of those two editions acquired from C&H, with new B&E title page).~This is a copy from the first issue, with the 1845 C&H title page. It is in very good-plus condition, with very minor wear at the spine ends; also there is a faint repair near the gutter of the title leaf. Atypically the original pale yellow endpapers are clean and intact. With fine copies of the first edition now priced in the mid-five figures, many collectors instead seek copies of these early-but-not-first editions. Gimbel A79 ("38th copy"); Smith II No. 4, note 6. Item #14197