In his complex multilevel narration Dickens assays Victorian English social mores, particularly among the nouveau riche and merchant class; business practices, friendship, law, and morality; the vulnerable situations of even “well off” women and children—pride, loneliness, humble happiness, and misery.
Dickens’s novels are famous for their “points” and Dombey is no exception. This copy is an early issue, as known from these points for example (not listing all): In the title-page vignette, Capt. Cuttle’s hook is on his left arm; on p. xv there is no page entry for the frontispiece and vignette, nor are there quotation marks around “the Party” in the second entry; on p. 14, ten lines up, “aint” has no apostrophe; on p. 26, line 11 has “fidgetty”; on p. 40, “shewed” and “shew” are found for “showed” and “show”; and on p. 582, the last line has no period.
This copy of Dombey was bound by Riviere, as noted below—a firm as notorious for the practice of not binding in errata as praiseworthy for other varieties of excellence; and so, while retaining the engraved frontispiece and added engraved title-page, this does not have the errata.
Binding: Exquisitely bound in full tan calf by Riviere (signed on the verso of the front free marbled endpaper). Gilt spine extra, gilt-ruled border on covers, gilt board edges, gilt inner dentelles; all edges gilt. Green and yellow silk head bands and green and yellow marbled endpapers.
Smith, Dickens in the Original Cloth, I, 8. Bound and with points as above. An excellent copy.