Item #5000623 The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations, after Phiz. Charles DICKENS.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations, after Phiz.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations, after Phiz.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations, after Phiz.

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. By Charles Dickens. With illustrations, after Phiz.

V.D. Land: Launceston: Henry Dowling, 1838 [-1839].

Octavo, lithographed frontispiece, additional lithographed title-page with vignette, and 18 lithograph plates (variants all in Craig's "A" state), as usual without the half-title and two leaves of inserted terminal advertisements (issued in only a few copies); the plate at p. 95 with lower outer section (less than a quarter of the image) supplied in good facsimile); contemporary half calf.

The Tasmanian "pirated" Pickwick

The famous Tasmanian Pickwick. Capitalising on the huge demand for the London printing of Dickens' Pickwick Papers, the Launceston printer Henry Dowling decided to pirate the edition and release it in parts as they became available throughout 1838 and 1839. The story of its publication is dealt with at length by Clifford Craig, in The Van Diemen's Land Edition of the Pickwick Papers (Hobart 1973), who describes the book as 'one of the most coveted books sought after by the Australian collector'. It is a rarity in collections of Dickens in Europe and America.

The famous Tasmanian Pickwick. Capitalising on the huge demand for the London printing of Dickens' Pickwick Papers, the Launceston printer Henry Dowling decided to pirate the edition and release it in parts as they became available throughout 1838 and 1839. The story of its publication is dealt with at length by Clifford Craig, in The Van Diemen's Land Edition of the Pickwick Papers (Hobart 1973), who describes the book as 'one of the most coveted books sought after by the Australian collector'. It is a rarity in collections of Dickens in Europe and America.

The illustrations were offered for sale after the publication in parts was complete, and were used for finished volumes like this. They have generally been attributed to either Jack Briggs, who was a servant of the publisher, or Wainwright, the poisoner,a skilled artist. More recent research, however, hypothesises that they may have been carried out by the colonial artist Robert Hawker Dowling, the publisher's brother.

The title-page is dated 1838 while the pictorial title-page is dated 1839.

The lithograph plates in this copy are all examples of the 'A' variants identified by Craig (five plates, at pp. 76, 117, 233, 265 and 334 or 337, are known in two distinct versions which he identified as 'A' or 'B'). A contemporary advertisement sang the praises of this "product of colonial industry… The obstacles which the Publisher has had to contend with in the production in this Colony [of the lithograph illustrations] can only be estimated by those who are familiar with the lithographic art…".

Bremer, 355; Craig (Engravers), pp. 127-132; Craig (The Van Diemen's Land Edition of The Pickwick Papers), passim, and pp. 24-44 for the variant plates; Ferguson, 2473; Kerr, pp. 804-5 and 217-9.

Condition Report: Plate normally at p.197 is at p.179; a few spots throughout; marbled sides of the binding worn; owner's name clipped from front flyleaf.

Price (AUD): $9,850.00

US$6,545.76   Other currencies

Ref: #5000623

Condition Report