Skip to content



Click for full-size.


by Dickens Charles

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
See description
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States
Item Price
Or just $27,480.00 with a
Bibliophiles Club Membership
$13.50 Shipping to USA
Standard delivery: 10 to 14 days

More Shipping Options

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • PayPal

About This Item

London: Chapman and Hall, 1861. 3 volumes. First Edition, fifth issue of the title-pages, but with virtually all first issue points of the First Edition, first impression, first state. Vol. III with "i" p. 193, "3" present as last digit in p. 103 in the text per Smith and Clarendon bibliographies and etc. With the August 1861 catalogue. 8vo, publisher’s original purple cloth lettered and decorated in gilt on the spines and in blind on the upper and lower covers. [iv], 344; [ii], 350; [ii], 344 pp. An unusually handsome, clean and fresh copy without repairs or sophistication. Light mellowing to the cloth from age, slight rubbing at the tips, hinges strong and quite tight with only slight evidence of age wear. The text block remains clean and in excellent condition. Very rare in this condition and state of preservation. HIGHLY IMPORTANT AND VERY RARE FIRST EDITION IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH. "The rarity of the first issue of GREAT EXPECTATIONS has been attributed to the...fact that 'the first edition was almost entirely taken up by libraries.” Patten, pp. 290-292, states that 1000 copies of the first issue and 750 of the second were printed and that probably most of the first and more than half of the second (1400 copies in all) were purchased by Mudies Select Library" (Smith, DICKENS IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH).
Even in 1932 Eckel lamented that "to obtain fine clean copies of this book has been the unsuccessful quest of many book collectors." Struggle between the various bibliographical arguments continues to this day with many holding to the points and positions formulated by Smith (see CHARLES DICKENS IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH) while some argument is occasionally made that copies of the book must correspond to the specifications put forth in the Clarendon bibliography. But as the sampling of copies used in that bibliography was statistically too small to gain absolute information by which a definitive argument could logically be made for the entire first edition run, it remains the case that such data can be used logically to build an argument towards acceptance of the existence of one micro pattern only within the run and not therefore a finding which determines finally and clearly for the whole.
Most experts today, continue to hold that Victorian printings and editions yielded to many factors during the binding process, not the least of which were economy and imprecision. It is likely that a Victorian publisher would most surely have used existing sheets when sewing together the gatherings before binding. Indeed, the specifications which are contained in the Oxford article seem to show that the textual points noted are of a very minor state and involve a change of or damage to a letter here or a word there, and as the editor Margaret Caldwell herself notes, “the clear conclusion is that there is no warrant for treating the five impressions as distinct editions: no authorial revision distinguishes one from another; blatant errors of substance remain uncorrected; a few errors and accidentals are corrected but many more remain.” It is also noted that one copy at the Bodlean at Oxford University is mixed state within the text while having first edition, first issue title pages.


Great Expectations is a classic novel by Charles Dickens, published in 1861. It tells the story of Pip, a young orphan boy brought up by his abusive sister and her blacksmith husband in rural England. Pip dreams of becoming a gentleman and escaping poverty, but his life takes a dramatic turn when he receives a large fortune from an anonymous benefactor. As he rises in society, he becomes involved with a host of colorful characters, including the eccentric Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella, and learns valuable lessons about love, loyalty, and the true meaning of happiness. The novel is considered one of Dickens' greatest works and a masterpiece of English literature.

Read More: Identifying first editions of GREAT EXPECTATIONS


(Log in or Create an Account first!)

You’re rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Buddenbrooks, Inc. US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Dickens Charles
Book Condition
Chapman and Hall
Place of Publication
Date Published
0.00 lbs
May be a multi-volume set and require additional postage.

Terms of Sale

Buddenbrooks, Inc.

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged. But, please do contact us as soon as possible if you wish to return an item. For items that are correctly described and being returned for other reasons please contact us as soon as possible and return the book in the condition it arrived to you within 7 days. For such returns the refund of postage is at our discretion.

About the Seller

Buddenbrooks, Inc.

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2009
Newburyport, Massachusetts

About Buddenbrooks, Inc.

Buddenbrooks has one of the finest collections of landmark, rare books and manuscripts in the world. Our intention is to provide great books or manuscripts in excellent condition. We enjoy sharing our passion and expertise with anyone interested in fine and rare books. And we also look forward to the opportunity to meet you. We maintain premises in the heart of historic Newburyport which are reminiscent of a European style librarie. We encourage you to visit our shop where books are beautifully presented in fine library cabinets in a sophisticated environment. We are also available by appointment only to meet with clients in Boston, where we also have maintained a presence for over 40 years. If you see an item which interests you or if you would like to learn more about our offerings, please contact us via telephone, fax or e-mail.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
A term used in bookbinding, where a gathering of sheets is folded at the middle, then bound into the binding together. The...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.
Text Block
Most simply the inside pages of a book. More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a book....
First State
used in book collecting to refer to a book from the earliest run of a first edition, generally distinguished by a change in some...

Frequently asked questions

This Book’s Categories