First appearance of A Tale of Two Cities.
DICKENS, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities in All the Year Round. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. With which is incorporated Household Words. No.1 - No. 50. With 1859 Christmas Extra Issue. Published at the Office. No. 11 Wellington Street North, April 30th 1859 - April 7th 1860.
8vo., 2 volumes in half calf over marbled boards; spine panelled and lettered in gilt; pp. vol I [ii], iv, 624, [ii]; vol II [iv], iv, 568, 48, [iv]; some browning and spotting, a little chipping and repair to fore-edge of title page in vol.1, otherwise a very good set.
The first two bound volumes of All the Year Round (No.s 1 - 50) bound with the Christmas Extra issue for 1859. These volumes include the first appearance of A Tale of Two Cities published in 31 weekly instalments from April 1859 to November 1859, The extra Christmas number contains Dickens's Haunted House. Also included are early chapters of Wilkie Collins's Woman in White.
A Tale of Two Cities was first serialized in Dickens' periodical All the Year Round, from April 30-November 26, 1859. Its appearance in monthly parts (July-December 1859) marks the return to his old publishers Chapman and Hall, after a long stay with Bradbury and Evans. This title also marks the author’s final collaboration with Phiz, his most evocative and sympathetic illustrator. (Smith I, 13. Hatton and Cleaver.) It was the end of a 23-year partnership.
Dickens was emotionally vested in this great novel. In a later preface he wrote: “It has had complete possession of me; I have so far verified what is done and suffered in these pages as that I have certainly done and suffered it all myself." The quality and strength of the prose is some of the finest he was ever to produce, for example, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”