DICKENS, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841.
4to, original cloth sometime rebacked preserving original spine, marbled endpapers and edges; with eighty-three textual engravings by George Cattermole and Hablot K. Browne; pp. [iv], -306, -223 with irregularities as issued; short strip of clear tape at hinge of upper pastedown, some chipping to end papers; cloth lightly rubbed all over with the odd mark; still very good.
First separate issue.
One of the two Dickens novels to be published in his weekly series Master Humphrey’s Clock, the plot follows the life of Nell Trent and her grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London. The novel is one of Dickens’ most sensational: fans were reported to have stormed the pier in New York City, shouting to arriving sailors (who might have already read the final chapters in the United Kingdom), "Is Little Nell alive?" In 2007, many newspapers claimed that the excitement at the release of the last installment of The Old Curiosity Shop was the only historical comparison that could be made to the excitement at the release of the last Harry Potter novel.
The book was first published in this one-volume format a few months after the release of the last instalment. It was most likely this edition that Queen Victoria read in the same year, and remarking in her journal from 1841 that it was "very interesting and cleverly written".