A Christmas Carol

A rare early edition, with four coloured plates by John Leech


Charles Dickens, illustrated by John Leech


Chapman & Hall, London, 1868
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Printing Details

Chapman & Hall, London, undated but c1868/69. Hardback, bound in the original red cloth with gilt titling and design to spine and upper board, the boards with blindstamped borders. All edges gilt. 20 × 13cm, [4] 166pp + 2pp ads. Text printed with red border.

Illustrated with four (hand?) coloured plates, and four black & white drawings within the text. Dated by adverts for Dickens' Illustrated Library Edition, which does not contain Edwin Drood (published 1870) but does have The Uncommercial Traveller (1868), and collates with adverts on the final leaf.

Full title: A Christmas Carol. In Prose, Being A Ghost Story for Christmas.

Dickens' superb Christmas ghost story, with Ebeneezer Scrooge visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This edition, before the colour plates were abandoned by the publisher as being too expensive, contains the plates: Mr Fezziwig's Ball (frontis), Marley's ghost, Scrooge's third visitor, and The last of the Spirits.


This copy is in good condition. The book lacks the ffep, but is free from inscription. The plates are remarkably clean, as are the text pages but a previous owner has made one small marginal edit to page 84. The inner binding is secure for the main body but the early pages are starting. The red cloth binding is clean to the boards, with light rubbing to the corners. The spine is faded with bumping to the head and tail. It's becoming quite rare to find in such clean condition.

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