London: Chapman and Hall, 1845. 1 page preliminary undated ads. Original red cloth decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt.
First Edition, first state, of Dickens's second Christmas book, the fantasy tale of old "Trotty" Veck the message-porter and his daughter Meg -- with origins from Dickens's year in Italy, where a church and its bells were just down the street. In what turns out to be Trotty's nightmare (à la Christmas Carol), he climbs a church-tower to the bells, where the resident goblins tell him he fell on the way up and is now dead -- and proceed to show him how everything will go wrong because he did not believe in the triumph of good over evil -- see "It's a Wonderful Life."
This copy has the vignette title page in the first (scarcer) state, with "Chapman & Hall" part of the vignette itself, rather than merely printed below the image. There is no colon after "London" on the title verso (no priority ascertained). This is a near-fine, attractive copy with little wear or soil, though actually it was re-backed (inside) at an early stage, preserving the original pale yellow endpapers. Smith II pp 30-6. Item #14781