CHRISTMAS CAROL

(London and Philadelphia: William Heinemann and J. B. Lippincott Co., 1915).

SCARCE FIRST EDITION IN THE MOST HANDSOME BINDING STATE AND IN VERY PLEASING CONDITION. A shining example of what you get when a true masterpiece of literature is complemented by one of the world’s greatest book illustrators. An inspiring combination.
Dickens writes of A Christmas Carol in his preface: “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book to raise the Ghost of an Idea which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” Surely, the author would be pleased with the perennial delight his little Christmas tale has stirred in the hearts and imaginations of generations of readers. Originally, Rackham’s illustrated edition of Dickens’ classic was published during the war years (1915) and was quite well received. The artist successfully incorporated the ‘Phiz’ and Cruikshank styles into his own to create striking renditions of Victorian London with ample room to uniquely evoke ghostly fantasy images as well. His almost characterized depiction of Scrooge, features chiseled and grotesque, are as bone-chilling as his fantastic entourages of moaning ghouls. The muted, shadowed atmospheric tones so characteristically Rackham, support Dickens’ eerie tale wonderfully. Some examples of Rackham’s emerging special talent for silhouette are also included. Item #29443

First edition of the holiday classic with Arthur Rackham's illustrations, with the 1915 date printed on the verso of the titlepage and "Heinemann" on the spine panel. With 12 haunting colour plates, illustrated endpapers, 18 black and white illustrations and line drawings by Arthur Rackham. The colourplates with tissue-guards captioned in dark red/brown. 8vo, publisher’s original purple cloth (the prettiest of the several binding variants) lettered and pictorially decorated in gilt on the upper cover with a ringing Christmas bell motif and on the spine in gilt in a holly and berry motif. xi, 147 pp. A very pleasing copy of the most beloved Christmastime tale, internally very fine, fresh, clean and solid, appearing near as pristine, the purple cloth very well preserved, the gilt fresh and bright on the cover and nearly as fine on the spine panel, unusually nice for the title, very minor evidence of age, a lovely copy.

Price: $1,350.00