Allen Press - The Wreck of the Golden Mary: A Saga of the Californian Gold Rush, by Charles Dickens

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The Wreck of the Golden Mary: A Saga of the Californian Gold Rush, by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Wood-Engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton. Crown 4to, pp.90 + proof engravings, 26ccm, (Dorothy & Lewis Allen) Allen Press, Kentfield, California, 1956.

Set in Bulmer with Commercial Script for display and printed in surf green and black on handmade Japanese vellum. Xylographic 'by' on the title-page designed by Mallette Dean. One of 200 copies. Illustrated with seven wood-engravings. French marbled paper-covered boards, resembling storm-tossed ocean water, pink spine with white titling and acetate jacket. This copy with one of the fifteen sets of proof wood-engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton, all signed and captioned in pencil. Housed together in a solander box, lettered in silver on the spine. Bookplate of Donald Lee Williams. Fine condition with prospectus loosely inserted.

The text is the fictional story of the wreck of an English ship bound for California in 1851. The story is told in the first person throughout, with the captain speaking at the start, and the first mate taking over after he collapses. Some do finally make it to San Francisco and the gold diggings. Dickens and Collins wrote this tale specially for the Christmas 1856, number of Household Words.

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