SKETCHES OF YOUNG GENTLEMEN. Charles Dickens.

SKETCHES OF YOUNG GENTLEMEN.

Dedicated to Young Ladies. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard, 1838. Original dark green cloth with front cover label.

First American Edition. Dickens wrote this as a protest against SKETCHES OF YOUNG LADIES, pseudonymously written by "Quiz" (subsequently attributed to Rev. Edward Caswall) the year before. That volume classified these "interesting members of the animal kingdom" in such groups as "Lazy Young Lady," "Stupid Young Lady," "Petting Young Lady" and "Manly Young Lady." To quote from Dickens's "Dedication to the Young Ladies":

Your Dedicator is humbly of opinion that so many libels, upon your Honourable sex, were never contained in any previously published work... Although your Dedicator is not at present prepared to deny that you are animals, still he humbly submits that it is not polite to call you so... Your Dedicator humbly suggests, that such of your Honourable sex as purchased the bane should possess themselves of the antidote, and that those of your Honourable sex who were not rash enough to take the first, should lose no time in swallowing the last, -- prevention being in all cases better than cure...

This Philadelphia volume contains first Caswall's LADIES (by "Quiz") and then Dickens's GENTLEMEN (anonymous -- no "Boz"), each with its own title page dated 1838 and reading "from the last London edition." The front cover label does attribute the second piece -- to "Quiz, Junior"; the half-title at the beginning of the volume reads "Sketches of Young Ladies" and then, in a different (i.e. added) font, "and Young Gentlemen."

This is a very good copy of this delicate volume, still in its original two-in-one binding with front cover label. There is a damp-mark ("tide-line") about a quarter-inch up on all leaves (in the margin only), and on the blank dark green cloth spine is faintly inked the title. This is a scarce book in original state. Smith pp 1-4 (wherein he notes that this edition was published in mid-March 1838, and Wiley & Putnam's on June 15th); no American edition is cited for Yale in Podeschi (see B63); not cited for Univ. of Texas in Carr (but see the Wiley & Putnam edition at B473; not cited in Wilkins. Provenance: signed in pencil by bibliographer Walter Smith, this is the copy described and photographed in his 2019 book. Item #14382

Price: $1,450.00

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