London: Bradbury and Evans, 1853. [Crime Fiction] FIRST EDITION, First Issue. Octavo, pp.xvi; 624 . Has all three typographical errors present in the first issue: p.19, line 6: "elgble"; p. 209, line 23: "chair" instead of "hair"; and p. 275, line 22: "counsinship" instead of "cousinship." With 40 engraved illustrations by H.K. Browne, including a frontispiece and vignette title page. Including clear early impressions of the 'dark' plates. Bound without half-title in contemporary tan half calf with gilt titles to brown label on the spine, along with further decoration in gilt and blind. Marbled paper over boards, brown endpapers, and all edges marbled. Black ink ownership to first blank. Heavy browning to plate margins, but generally better than usual. Edges faded. Quite heavy rubbing to boards, with a few small cracks to spine and bumped corners. Very good. Although many of Dickens most famous works are crawling with crime, it is just this title that can be firmly placed in the murder mystery category. 'Bleak House' is essentially a classic whodunit, professionally solved, which became only the second entry (after Poe's 'Tales') in the Haycraft-Queen cornerstone list of crime fiction. Dickens returned to crime fiction for his highly-rated final story, the 'Mystery of Edwin Drood' but this was unfinished and the case unsolved... Within 'Bleak House' the author experiments with dual narrators and the story ranges from the dark and filthy Victorian slums to the landed aristocracy; Inspector Bucket is one of the earliest detectives to appear in fiction and was probably based on C.K. Field of the recently formed Scotland Yard. An essential mystery novel. Item #57071
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