Household words. A weekly journal. Charles Dickens.

Household words. A weekly journal

New York: G. P. Putnam [and others, see below], 1850-59. First American edition, 19 volumes, 8vo, text in double column within ruled borders; a fine set in contemporary half blue polished calf over marbled boards, red morocco labels on gilt-decorated spines. Household Words was considerably more popular in England than America and its publishing history in America is "almost absolutely dark, as is the whole subject of periodical printing and 'arrangements' ... The 1850's were years of copyright agitation in America, and certainly no legally protective arrangements were possible to the English publishers before the journal was discontinued in 1859. And it is not surprising that the course of Household Words was not so brilliant in America as was that of its successor All the Year Round...It was partially a local work and not quite so interesting to an America as to an English reader; it had changed publishers too often; there was no legitimate arrangement between the English proprietors and the American publishers; it was sold at too high a price; it had been published by inexperienced people and therefore had not received proper publicity and promotion; and its lack of pictorial illustration made it unpopular with the masses" (Buckler, William E., "'Household Words' in America," in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 45, pp. 160-66.) While the first volume was published by Putnam, volumes 2 and 3 were printed from English plates and have a London imprint; those publishing the remaining volumes included, in order, McElrath & Lord; Angell, Engel & Hewitt, McElrath & Barker; T. C. McElrath & Co.; J. A. Dix; Dix & Edwards; Dix, Edwards & Co.; Miller & Curtis; James Miller; Jansen & Co.; and, Frederick A. Brady. Complete sets of this American piracy, in a matching contemporary binding, are uncommon. Item #28170

Price: $4,500.00

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