Auctions | May 23, 2023

Charles Dickens Signed Presentation First Impression of American Notes to Auction

Nate D. Sanders

American Notes

An extremely rare Charles Dickens signed presentation first edition, first impression of his travelogue American Notes for General Circulation will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders on May 25.

Dickens inscribed the book to his close American friend William Hickling Prescott the day after the London publication by Chapman and Hall  in 1842. Issued in two volumes, Dickens signed the half-title of Vol. I, "W. H. Prescott / From his friend / Charles Dickens / October Nineteenth 1842." It is bound in the publisher's original binding of brown-mauve cloth, blind-stamped with gilt titling, and with six pages of advertisements at the end of volume II, as well as pale yellow endpapers.
Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Prescott was a leading scholar of the Spanish Empire and a respected historian. He and Dickens maintained a correspondence over their lifetimes, agreeing on many subjects outlined in American Notes such as the need for universal copyright law and an abhorrence of slavery.

Also being auction is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in three volumes (scarce first edition, first impression for Volumes. I and III, third impression for Volime II) and a first edition, first impression of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (scarce in the original publisher's first impression binding).