Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens, J. Mahoney (illustrator) 1891 - Chapman and Hall, London 'In Little Dorrit, Dickens attacked English institutions with a ferocity that has never since been approached' – George Orwell.

A handsomely bound nineteenth century edition of Dickens’ masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, illustrated by J. Mahoney, who had worked as a delivery boy in the darker streets of London, and with a reputation for drunkenness and disorderly behaviour was considered the ideal choice for those novels in which the darker side of London life is Dickens’ primary concern. Considered one of the supreme works of Dickens's maturity.

‘Arthur Clennam, returning to England after many years abroad, takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, who was born and raised in the Marshalsea where her father has long been imprisoned for debt. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, to the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office and Merdle, an unscrupulous financier.’
  J. Mahoney (1810-79), born in Ireland, practically uneducated, but said to be a natural artist. He was noticed by J. H. Whymper whilst working as a delivery boy in London, he was later with Dalziel Brothers but in both cases had to leave because of drunkenness and disorderly behaviour. The very sombreness of his life made Mahoney the Dalziel’s logical choice of Mahoney for those novels in which the darker side of London life is Dickens’ primary concern: Oliver Twist, Little Dorrit, and Our Mutual Friend.

The Household Edition - In 1871, the year after Dickens’ death, Chapman and Hall published Oliver Twist, as the first volume in the Household Edition, playing on the public’s fond memories of Dickens’ magazine Household Words. Over the next eight years the edition grew to 22 volumes. It was reset in large type on a quarto page, and furnished with entirely new illustrations by a fresh set of artists. These illustrations were in addition to reproductions of previously published illustrations by Phiz and others, the complete 866 illustrations were also published in 1908 as a separate volume.

References: Penguin Classics Editions. Houfe,
British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914, 382. Norton Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914, 137. Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens, 209.

Quarto (binding size 25x18.2cm), pp. [2] viii 423 [1].
  Finely bound in three-quarter burgundy morocco over matching marbled boards, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges trimmed.   Condition: Near fine, toning and several spots to outer edges, in fine binding   Ref: 110148   Price: HK$ 3,000