Charles Dickens at 200

A deluxe edition of Dickens' first published book

Sketches by Boz

Sketches by Boz

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Sketches by Boz was Dickens' first book, collecting sketches and tales he had published in various magazines between 1833 and 1836. The first series, illustrated by George Cruikshank, was published in two volumes in February 1836 by John Macrone, who paired the fledgling writer with the ubiquitous artist. In his preface to the first edition, Dickens modestly writes that he offers his writing as a "pilot balloon, trusting it may catch favourable current," and acknowledges that this is the "first voyage in company" for him and Cruikshank. In his preface to the second edition of the first series, Dickens thanks the reading public for "their favourable reception" but mentions the consequences:

If the pen that designed these little outlines should present its labours to the Public frequently hereafter, ... they have only themselves to blame. They have encouraged a young and unknown writer, by their patronage and approval; they have stimulated him to fresh efforts, by their liberality and praise; and if they will be guilty of such actions, they must be content to bear the consequences which naturally result from them.

The Nonesuch Dickens, twenty-three volumes printed in an edition of 877 copies, was published by the English private press founded in 1923 by Francis Meynell. The illustrations for The Nonesuch Dickens were printed from the original 19th-century metal plates and wood blocks. The paper used for printing Dickens' approximately seven million words was made by the Worthy Paper Company of West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sketches by Boz and Early Minor Works
The Nonesuch Dickens, volume two
Bloomsbury, London: The Nonesuch Press, 1938


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