London: Richard Bentley, 1838 Three volumes. Illustrated with twenty-four streel-engraved plates by George Cruikshank. First edition, first issue, with "Boz" on the title pages and the "Fireside plate" in Volume III. Publisher's variant horizontally-ribbed cloth, with arabesque designs to the boards in blind, four bands to the spine in blind, lettered in gilt, pale yellow coated endpapers. About very good, with some minor repairs to the cloth at the spines, a few minor chips to the spine ends, a few signatures slightly loosened, hinges very lightly starting inside the covers at the spine ends, some light soiling and dampstaining to the boards, the usual toning and minor spotting to the plates, Vol. II with an erased former owner's inscription to the front free endpaper, a few scattered spots to the otherwise clean pages. Overall, a presentable copy of Dicken's second novel in the original cloth. Smith I, 4. This copy of Oliver Twist is the first issue of the text in book form, with Dickens credited as "Boz" on the title page and with the final plate, "Rose Maylie and Oliver," depicting a fireside scene. Later issues of the first edition contain a cancel title page citing Charles Dickens as the author and have the "Church plate," which shows Rose and Oliver in a church, as the final illustration. As Smith explains in his bibliography, "When Bentley decided to publish Oliver in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank had to complete the last few plates in haste" and Dickens was not able to review them "until the eve of publication." Published shortly after the enactment of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, which mandated that state poor relief would only be given to workhouse residents, Oliver Twist served as a vehicle for Dicken's criticism of the effects of poverty left unabated. Specifically, this social novel tells the story of poor, orphaned Oliver Twist who is drawn into the dark worlds of child labor, petty crime, and life in the London slums.. Illus. by Cruikshank, George. 1st Edition.. Hard Cover. Very Good.