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The Christmas Books of Charles Dickens, First Editions, Bayntun-Rivière Bindings



Complete First Edition Collection of The Christmas Books of Charles Dickens

Stunning Full Leather Custom Bindings by Bayntun-Rivière

Custom Presentation/Display Box by Jamie Kamph, The Stonehouse Bindery

Exceptional Condition

Binding Details:  Beautiful full leather custom bindings by Bayntun-Rivière of red morocco leather with spine treatments of raised bands, gold gilt ruling, and titling as well as elaborate central motif decorative floral gilt work. There are double gold gilt ruled borders to the covers with holly decorations to the corners as well as a central scrolling floral motif. The front and rear inner boards contain leather and silk doublures that are decorated in elaborate gilt ruling.  The Bayntun-Rivière binder’s stamp appears in gold gilt on the bottom of the inside front cover of each of the volumes. All page ends are gold gilted. The books are housed in a custom silk presentation and display box designed by Jamie Kamph of The Stonehouse bindery that feature leather holly’s adorning the top of the box.

Collection Details:  This is the complete five volume first edition collection of The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens published by Chapman & Hall  and Bradbury and Evans, London during the years 1943. Each of the books is a first printing with the exception of The Battle of Life, A Love Story which is a second printing. There are only 2 know first printings in existence both of which are owned by institutions.

A Christmas Carol "may readily be called the Bible of Christmas It was issued about ten days before Christmas, 1843, and 6000 copies were sold on the first day. "It was a work written at the height of Dickens' great powers, which would add to his considerable fame, bring a new work to the English language, increase the festivities at Christmastime, and contain his most eloquent protest at the condition of the poor" (John Mortimer). "Suddenly conceived and written within a few weeks, [A Christmas Carol] was the first of Dickens' Christmas books (a new literary genre thus created incidentally) it was an extraordinary achievement the one great Christmas myth of modern literature." Dickens followed A Christmas Carol's tremendous success with four more Christmas books. In each book, he deftly develops the themes of the first, ideals that have consequently become inseparable from the holiday itself: love and redemption, charity and mercy.

The following are the bibliographic profiles and additional information for each of the titles:

A Christmas Carol published by Chapman & Hall, London in 1843. First Edition, first printing with uncorrected text (“Stave I” as the first chapter heading) and green endpapers. The book is illustrated with sixty-three engravings altogether, four in color, by Leech, Maclise, Stanfield, Doyle and Landseer.

The Chimes, A Goblin Story published by Chapman & Hall in 1845. First Edition, first printing with a period after Master on line 8, page 72. The book is illustrated by J. Leach, R. Doyle, D Maclise and C. Stanfield with a frontispiece and vignette title page plus thirteen illustrations throughout the text.

The Cricket on the Hearth, Fairy Tale of Home published by Bradbury and Evans, London in 1846. First Edition, first printing with two-line italic headline for Oliver Twist on page 175 and on page 10 line 7 with the word Your’s. The book is illustrated with 14 engraved illustrations by John Leech, R. Doyle and others including a fine frontispiece and title-page.

The Battle of Life, A Love Story published by Bradbury and Evans in 1846. First Edition, second printing with a love story scrolled on the vignette without the cupid. As mentioned earlier, there are only 2 know first printings in existence both of which are owned by institutions. The book is illustrated by D. Maclise, R. Doyle, J. Leech, C. Stanfield, and others.

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain published by Bradbury and Evans, London in 1848. First Edition, first printing with line 5 on page 21 with the word recalls and line 1 on page 57 with a space in the word “build”. The book is illustrated by John Tenniel, John Leech, and others.

Each volume measures approximately 6.5” x 4” and includes an author’s preface and table of contents. All of the illustrations are protected by tissue guards.

Condition Report:  The bindings are in FINE condition with some very superficial surface wear. Internally, the books are very clean with an occasional stray mark. There are residue from small leather oval bookplate in each of the volumes. Overall, this is a beautifully bound first edition collection of Dicken’s Christmas Books that are in exceptional condition.

Photographs of the bindings and presentation box appear in the photo section of the listing.