THE DALTONS. Or Three Roads in Life. In Two Volumes.
With Illustrations by Phiz. London: Chapman and Hall, 1852. Front endpaper of Vol II printed with Chapman & Hall ads. Original blind-stamped rose-brown cloth.
First Edition in book form of this tale of "the downside of an irresponsible lifestyle when one enters middle age. The picaresque hero has now become a family, rather poor, but convinced of its aristocratic entitlement as it dwells on its recent Irish past and travels the Continent" [Murphy]. The Irish Lever had himself left Ireland to travel the Continent.
This pair of volumes is in what Cater labels as "binding B" -- rose-brown blind-stamped cloth with a gilt vignette on the spines. As Carter points out, the "A" binding of dark brown cloth was used for the binding-up of parts (with stab-holes evident on the leaves); this "B" binding was used for copies initially issued, as here, in cloth. (One could argue that the sheets in "A" copies were first issued earlier than those in "B" bindings, but also that bound "B" copies preceded bound "A" copies -- since "A" copies had to wait for serial customers to bring their parts back in to the publisher for binding-up.)
THE DALTONS is amusingly illustrated by "Phiz" (Hablot K. Browne), as were some of the Dickens novels of the same era.
This is a very good-plus, rather attractive set (quite minor wear at the top of the spines, spines faded as usual for this color; a couple of gatherings stand slightly proud, but both volumes are tight and the original endpapers are clean and intact). The 48 Phiz plates are remarkably clean and free of foxing. Sadleir 1400 (binding "A"); Wolff 4083 (this binding "B"); Carter BV pp 132-133 & plate XII. Provenance: each title page bears the signature of "Emma H. Umfreville | Ingress Abbey". Emma Harmer Chaplin (1824-1859) had married Samuel Unfreville in 1847; she was the granddaughter and heiress of the wealthy lawyer Samuel Harmer who in 1833 had built Ingress Abbey in Hitheville, Kent. Sadly she died just seven years after THE DALTONS was published, at the age of 34. Item #14264