Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend

Clarendon Edition





Tauchnitz Edition

Our Mutual Friend. Copyright Edition for Continental Circulation. 4 vols. Collection of British Authors, vols. 730, 760, 780, 800. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1864-5. 1252 pp.

Tauchnitz commenced his British Authors series in 1841. He arranged to pay authors a generous fee for reprinting their works in Germany, though no international copyright existed to oblige him to do so. Dickens supplied Tauchnitz with corrected proofs of his works, which facilitated their publication in Germany at the same time as they were issued in England (according to the Reader, ‘Our Mutual Friend is reprinted by Tauchnitz as it appears, and each part is published simultaneously with the London edition’ [7 May 1864, p. 586]). For Dickens’s letter confirming Tauchnitz’s right to publish see Letters of Charles Dickens, British Academy-Pilgrim Edition 10, pp. 353-4. There existed a mass of correspondence between Dickens and Tauchnitz, almost certainly destroyed by the bombing of Leipzig during the Second World War.

This edition of Our Mutual Friend features twenty of the original illustrations. Each volume begins with page 1, and contains one Book. Dickens’s dedication appears at the beginning of the second volume, and his Postscript at the end of the fourth. Each volume was priced one-half thaler1 (equivalent then to 1s.6d.)

Tauchnitz also issued the novel in monthly parts, though these are extremely rare. The Charles Dickens Museum Library has parts 1 and 3, in grey paper covers.

Digitised images of the complete Tauchnitz Edition in four books

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Digitised images of the Tauchnitz Monthly Parts

These images appear courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum


1 The 'thaler' or 'taler' was a silver coin, used in the various regions of Germany from the 16th century until the early 20th century. The Dutch picked up the word in the 17th century and called their own silver coins daalder, which English-speakers naturalized as 'dollar'.



Title page for first of the four volumes of the Tauchnitz edition

Advertisement for the Tauchnitz 'Collection of British Authors' series









Wrapper for monthly parts

Wrapper for monthly parts


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