Item #15462 THE HAUNTED MAN and THE GHOST'S BARGAIN. Charles Dickens.


A Fancy for Christmas-Time. New York: Harper & Brothers, n.d. [1849]. 2 pp undated ads. Original brown printed wrappers.

First American Edition of Dickens's fifth and last Christmas book; there had been no late-1847 Christmas book, as Dickens had then been busy with DOMBEY AND SON. Though undated, this Harper edition in wrappers came out on January 6, 1849; this is earlier in January than was the case for their four previous Christmas books, and for good reason: in December Harper had paid Dickens five pounds for advance sheets -- the first amount an American publisher paid Dickens for a Christmas book. With the earlier four books, several American publishers leapt at the chance to be first; however, for this one, since Harper had a head-start, no other American publisher bothered to make the effort.

In this copy, the (inside and outside) wrapper ads are the primary ones cited by Smith; the terminal ad leaf (pp [35-36]) has "Valuable Geographic Works" (Smith's state "c") on the recto, and "Harper's Family Library" (Smith's state "f") on the verso. Smith notes that "it is not possible to prioritize the states [of the ad leaf] accurately."

This copy is in near-fine condition, with the front wrapper unusually clean and the delicate spine quite intact. There are a few marks on the rear wrapper, the usual foxing on the leaves within, plus some wear at the fore- and lower edge of the wrapper -- a common problem for this booklet, as the wrapper extends past the textual leaves. There is also a little marginal damage to some leaves, due to improper opening. We do not see this book in much better condition. Smith pp 104-107; Podeschi (Yale) A120; Carr (UTexas) B426(1). Item #15462

Price: $625.00

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