(London: Chapman and Hall, 1836). 175 x 115 mm. (6 7/8 x 4 1/2"). v, , 49 pp. FIRST EDITION.
Extremely pleasing red crushed morocco, gilt, by Zaehnsdorf, covers with French fillet border, raised bands, spine in compartments with ornate urn-and-floral-spray centerpiece, gilt titling, turn-ins with gilt floral roll, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. Original pictorial wrappers bound in. Title page and illustrated wrapper with three small woodcut heads, three plates with guards, all by H. K. Browne. Title page with Charles Dickens' name faintly written in ink beneath "Timothy Sparks" in a 19th century hand. Eckel, pp. 102-03. ◆Front joint a little worn (though well masked with dye), separation in hinge after front flyleaf, but a solid, lustrous, and very pretty binding; internally fine, with only the most trivial imperfections.
This is an attractive copy, complete with original wrappers, of Dickens' little political pamphlet written in opposition to a bill being considered in Parliament that called for stricter Sunday observance. Dickens felt that fresh laws for more rigorous enforcement of restrained behavior were unfair to the poor because their six-day work week left only Sundays for leisure, and he pleaded in the pamphlet for the encouragement of sabbath excursions and harmless amusements. The "three heads" symbolize Sunday "As It Is, As Sabbath Bills Would Make It, [and] As It Might Be Made." Longtime Dickens collaborator H. K. Browne ("Phiz") has provided three scenes imagining the day of rest in each of these situations. The handsome binding is by a 19th century English powerhouse of craftsmen, the Zaehnsdorf bindery founded by Hungarian emigré Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1816-86) in 1842. (ST16866s)