Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend

Clarendon Edition

   

 

 

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First Edition in Monthly Parts

Our Mutual Friend. London: Chapman and Hall, May 1864-November 1865. 629 pp.

The first edition, in twenty parts, published as nineteen (the last one being a double number), was issued between May 1864 and November 1865; the cost of each part was 1s., except for the final one, which cost 2s. Each part was bound in green paper wrappers, with a wrapper design by Marcus Stone. Each number begins with the 'Our Mutual Friend Advertiser', containing 16 pages of advertisements (32 in the first number). The advertisements are followed by two illustrations (four in the final double number) by Marcus Stone, then 32 pages of text (with the exception of the concluding double number, which has 53 pages of text). Following the text are more advertisements. It is interesting to note that Our Mutual Friend featured more advertisements than any other Dickens serial; revenue from these materials amounted to 2750, which was shared equally between publisher and author.

The decision to divide the novel into two books was taken by Frederic Chapman, with Dickens's agreement (see Letters of Charles Dickens, British Academy-Pilgrim Edition 10, pp. 423-4). The tenth monthly number includes material to facilitate binding the first half of the novel into a single volume: half-title and title pages; Dickens's dedication to Sir James Emerson Tennent (1804-69); a table of contents for the first volume; and a list of illustrations for the first volume. The second volume (opening with the eleventh number) begins pagination anew. The text of the concluding double number ends on page 306, and is followed by Dickens's three-page 'Postscript in Lieu of Preface'. There then follows a list of 'Mr. Dickens's Works', and another set of materials to facilitate binding into a second volume: half-title and title pages; a second table of contents; and a second list of illustrations.

Digitised images of the complete monthly parts

The monthly parts which appear here are from the Henry Collection of the Charles Dickens Museum. This collection (presented to the Museum in 1959) features complete sets of monthly parts, and some first editions, of various DIckens novels. Where possible, the parts have been reproduced with all known collations of advertisements.

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