Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend

Clarendon Edition





Charles Dickens Edition

Our Mutual Friend. London: Chapman and Hall, 1868. 525 pp.

This single-volume edition, ultimately part of a 21-volume set of Dickens’s works, was the last one over which Dickens potentially had editorial control. It was the most popular and widely circulated of all the editions issued during the novelist’s lifetime and the one on which most modern editions are based. Advertisements claimed that this was a special printing devised by Dickens and his publishers ‘to combine legibility with durability and cheapness’. It is bound in rough red cloth, with gilt lettering on the spine and a facsimile signature stamped in gold on the front cover to signify ‘his present watchfulness over his own edition,’ as the advertisement in the Athenaeum stated (4 May 1867, 600). The novels appeared at the rate of one a month from May 1867, until the series was complete. Dickens also composed running titles for the top of every right-hand page, summarising and commenting upon the narrative action.

The edition includes eight illustrations, placed at the relevant points in the text; ‘The Bird of Prey’ was used as the frontispiece, following the title page. The other illustrations included are: 'Witnessing the Agreement', 'Waiting for Father', 'A Friend in Need', The Evil Genius of the House of Boffin', 'Bella "Righted" by the Golden Dustman', 'In the Lock-Keeper’s House', and 'The Wedding Dinner at Greenwich'.

The text, in single columns, is surrounded by a black border. The Charles Dickens Edition of Our Mutual Friend was priced at 3s. 6d.

Digitised images of the complete Charles Dickens Edition

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

These images appear courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum

Running titles for the Charles Dickens Edition (pdf)



This project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy.