Item #6957.7 The CHIMES. A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and A New Year In. Charles Dickens, 1812 - 1870.

The CHIMES. A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and A New Year In.

London: Chapman & Hall, 1845. 1st edition, 1st state vignette title page (Smith II, 5). [8], 175, [1] pp. 13 illustrations by Leech, Doyle, Stanfield & Maclise. 8vo. 6-3/4" x 4-1/4". Deep-red, vertically-ribbed cloth, with boards stamped in blind with a decorative border of vines, leaves & flowers. Gilt stamping to spine & front board, titling, goblins & chimes. AEG. Pale yellow eps. Minor wear & soiling to cloth, gilt bright. A lovely VG+ copy. Item #6957.7

The novella was written in late 1844, during Dickens's year-long visit to Italy. John Forster, his first biographer, records that Dickens, hunting for a title and structure for his next contracted Christmas story, was struck one day by the clamour of the Genoese bells audible from the villa where they were staying. Two days later Forster received a letter from Dickens which read simply: "We have heard THE CHIMES at midnight, Master Shallow!", and the writing of the book began. Forster describes Dickens's intentions in writing The Chimes as striking "a blow for the poor".  

The Chimes aroused public interest and anticipation. Five different stage productions of the book were running within weeks of publication and nearly 20,000 copies were sold in the first three months. It had a high media profile, and was widely reviewed and discussed. Critical opinion was divided; those sympathetic to its social and political message liked the book, but others thought it dangerously radical. The Northern Star reviewer called Dickens "the champion of the poor"; John Bull rejected his unflattering caricatures of philanthropy. It was certainly a financial success for Dickens, and remained popular for many years.

Price: $750.00

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