London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848. Four parts in one volume. 8vo. xvii, [ii], 704 pp., including frontispiece and more than 30 text woodcuts. FIRST EDITION. Publisher’s green gilt cloth, worn on edge of spine, front hinge cracked; interior fine. Gift inscription in pencil on fly-leaf. Item #12176
First edition. John Forster (1812-76) was a noted biographer, critic, essayist and historian, probably best remembered for the first biography of his close friend, the novelist Charles Dickens. He edited the Foreign Quarterly Review, The Daily News, and The Examiner. Born in the same year as Dickens, Forster was the son of a butcher from Newcastle-on-Tyne. Rising to prominence in literary circles, he befriended the likes of Charles Lamb, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Carlyle, Robert Browning and Tennyson. He produced a series of essays dealing with the seventeenth century Puritan Commonwealth, as well as several biographies.