American Notes for General Circulation.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1842. First edition, first issue. Two volumes. 8vo. (xii), 308; (viii), 306, (6) pp., a few gatherings unopened. Publisher's blind stamped cloth, gilt lettered to the spine, early armorial bookplate of a Henry Birkbeck to the front pastedowns and his lightly pencilled ownership inscription to the front free endpaper of volume I, the discreet contemporary ticket of the bookseller Fletcher of Norwich to the front of the same volume. Some fading to the spine, a very small superficial split to the cloth at foot of the lower joint of volume I, though it remains sounds and the set is very good overall. The result of a four month lecture tour of the States and Canada during which Dickens' opinions of the new world fell steadily. On his return it proved popular on this side of the Atlantic while American reviews were unanimously hostile, Emerson noting "Truth is not his object for a single instant...". Dickens composed a mollifying Preface which was removed at the last minute and not published until after his death. In it he states "I went there expecting greater things than I found... Coming home with a corrected and sobered judgement, I consider myself no less bound to do justice to what... I found to be the truth". Smith, II, 3. Item #29845