First edition, first issue of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Small octavo, [viii], 166pp, [2pp ads]. Full navy blue morocco, five raised bands, title in gilt on spine. Thin border stamped in blind to covers. Gilt trim and turn-ins. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Bound by W. Root and Son of London. Solid text block, faint toning to hinges, light shelf wear, touch of transference to endpapers from gilt turn-ins, a near fine example. The first issue, with half-title printed in blue, title page printed in blue and red, “Stave I” on page 1. Preface dated “December, 1843.” (Shepherd 31) (Smith II 4) Publisher’s original cloth covers and spine affixed to rear flyleaves. Complete with four hand-colored plates, including frontispiece, plus four wood engravings. Housed in a navy blue cloth slipcase.
Inspired by a troubling parliamentary commissioner’s report on the working conditions for children in factories and mines, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843 to show the average reader the struggles facing members of the lower classes. By early 1844 the novella was a global success, with publications like Fraser’s Magazine calling it “a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it a personal kindness.” A Christmas Carol is still beloved today, with hundreds of local productions staged each year and multiple feature films retelling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge.