Special Edition: Works of Charles Dickens

At some point in the holiday season one is sure to come across some sort of adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The definitive Christmas story has not only inspired numerous adaptations, but has also been influential on other works including It’s A Wonderful Life and The Grinch That Stole Christmas.

It's A Wonderful Life, CORBIS.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, TV Guide.

If you find yourself wanting to read the novella for yourself this year, we have wonderfully luxurious copy here in library’s Special Collections and Archives. A Christmas Carol can be found in Christmas Books, Volume I as part of our 64 volume fine press edition Works of Charles Dickens. There were only 10 copies of this set created in 1900, with this set being bound especially for J. Alice Maxwell of Rockville, Connecticut.

All 64 volumes are encased in full red morocco leather with gilt edges, three raised bands on the spine, gold lettering and gold floral tooling. The set looks rather festive just sitting on the shelf, but once you open the volumes the extravagance continues with front and rear covers bound in red and blue morocco leather and matching leather end papers personalized with  J. Alice Maxwell’s signature stamped in gold.

IMG_0342

IMG_0338

IMG_0343

The volumes are heavily illustrated with photogravures, facsimiles, etchings, and original watercolors.

IMG_0333

Works of Charles Dickens, photogravure by Fredrick Barnard, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

IMG_0329

Works of Charles Dickens, facsimile of the first page of the original manuscript.

IMG_0334

Works of Charles Dickens, etching by John Leech, The Last of The Spirits.

IMG_0327

Works of Charles Dickens, watercolor, Scrouge.

The watercolors are of particular interest since they are actual watercolors bound into the volumes.

IMG_0335

Works of Charles Dickens, watercolor, Tilly Slowboy from The Cricket On The Hearth.

IMG_0340

Works of Charles Dickens, watercolor, Trotty Veck from The Chimes.

Please feel free to come and see this amazing turn of the century example of limited edition fine press publishing in the Special Collections and Archives Booth-Bricker Reading Room, Monday-Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 pm.

Leave a Reply