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Lot 197: [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]

1014: Rare Books & Manuscripts

by Addison & Sarova Auctioneers

November 5, 2016

Macon, GA, USA

Live Auction
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  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
  • [Charles Dickens' copy, on Civil War & Slavery]
   
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Description: Malet, Rev. William Wyndham. AN ERRAND TO THE SOUTH IN THE SUMMER OF 1862. 7" x 4.25". viii, 312 pp. + frontis and errata slip. Last 5 pages containing music (for the song "Maryland.) Publisher's cloth with spine and front board in gilt. Some wrinkling to cloth, 1" tear to upper portion of front hinge and light wear to rear hinge in same area, gutters lightly cracked, corners bumped. Small bindery and bookseller's label to rear pastedown, former owner bookplate to front endpaper, and two bookplates to front pastedown including that of Charles Dickens. Contents quite clean. Excellent, Very Good condition. *************************** Scarce presentation copy of the first edition of Malet's observations during his trip from England to the Confederate States of America during the early stages of the Civil War. We locate no record of this work appearing at auction in the last 100 years, and the present example is both a scarce piece of Dickensiana as well as Americana. Malet's sister resided on a South Carolina plantation, and he tended to identify Southerners as more distinctly British (and thus kindred) when compared to those Americans in the North. "I could not resist a feeling of national pride, thinking of this people, claiming to be of the genuine English stock, exemplifying in a wonderful manner some of the finest features of the character of man in self-government" (Malet, 211.) Malet's sympathies are quite plain in his idyllic descriptions of the South, "There are 12,000 people at Columbia [S.C.], but no police are seen, and people sleep with their doors and windows unbolted. There are no beggars.... I questioned many negroes, and all were contented and happy" (Malet, 212.) Interestingly enough, Malet would present this book (the present copy) to a staunch opponent of slavery in Charles Dickens. While Dickens was critical of the North, he abhorred the slavery of the South and was critical of America in general. This present copy is presented by the author to Charles Dickens, inscribed on the half-title: "Charles Dickens from the author, with kind regards" dated July 29, 1865. The front pastedown bears the engraved bookplate of Charles Dickens as well as the label reading "From the Library of Charles Dickens, Gadshill Place, June, 1870." Ink to title in an early hand reads "Public Schools Club, 17 St. James Place, S.W." [Blackett, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War, 16; Sabin 44118; Howes M237]

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