Carp library friends have Dickens of a book deal

By Kirsten Smith, Carp Book Corner

CARP – The Friends of the Library at Carp have a complete set of the works of Charles Dickens for sale – just in time for Christmas. The Centennial Edition was published in 1970 to mark 100 years since the death of the renowned British author.

This ad from a 1970 edition of the Australian newspaper The Age describes the set. Courtesy the Friends of the Library at Carp
This ad from a 1970 edition of the Australian newspaper The Age describes the set. Courtesy the Friends of the Library at Carp

Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, is considered one of great English authors of the 19th century and second only to Shakespeare in overall popularity. His youth was spent in poverty in London but in 1828 he was hired as a reporter to cover debates in the House of Commons. By the mid-1830s his sketches and essays (Sketches by Boz) were popular enough that he could devote himself fulltime to writing fiction and to speaking tours. And write he did – churning out novels (usually first published by the chapter in newspapers or magazines) at a torrid pace until his sudden death in his late 50s.

This series, as you can see from the 1970 advertisement from the Australian newspaper The Age, was sold by mail order subscription. The British ad includes lots of all caps and bolded sentences such as “out of the pages of Dickens walk some of the most unforgettable characters that ever lived….villains and saints, rogues and innocents, lovers and ruffians.”

An ad in the Calgary Herald from November 1970 set the Canadian price at $4.49 plus shipping per month for two volumes. According to that translates into $29.75/month in today’s dollars.

We have the entire set available for the low price of $100.

HCBooks Online describes this series as the standard edition “green kidron (faux leather), decorative board and spine, with title in gilt lettering, gilt design on front board and yellow ribbon marker.”

There are 36 volumes in the set as many of the novels are broken up into two volumes. It also includes his sketches and shorter essays, travel writing (he lived or took extended trips abroad in the 1840s and 1850s) and two volumes of assorted papers.

  • A Child’s History of England
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • American Notes/ Pictures from Italy
  • Barnaby Rudge I
  • Barnaby Rudge II
  • Bleak House I
  • Bleak House II
  • Christmas Books
  • Christmas Stories I
  • Christmas Stories II
  • David Copperfield I
  • David Copperfield II
  • Dombey & Son I
  • Dombey & Son II
  • Great Expectations
  • Hard Times
  • Little Dorrit I
  • Little Dorrit II
  • Martin Chuzzlewit I
  • Martin Chuzzlewit II
  • Miscellaneous Papers I
  • Miscellaneous Papers II
  • Nicholas Nickleby I
  • Nicholas Nickleby II
  • Oliver Twist
  • Our Mutual Friend I
  • Our Mutual Friend II
  • Pickwick Papers I
  • Pickwick Papers II
  • Reprinted Pieces
  • Sketches by Boz I
  • Sketches by Boz II
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood/Master Humphrey’s Clock
  • The Old Curiosity Shop I
  • The Old Curiosity Shop II
  • The Uncommercial Traveller

If you are a Dickens fan, this is a must-have series for your personal library.

Because of the size of the series and limited space in the Carp Book Corner, it is stored  offsite so please contact Chris Sparling of the Carp Book Corner at or 613-839-1594 to arrange for a viewing or to purchase. All proceeds from the sale of the volume will go to the Friends of the Library at Carp.

The Friends of the Ottawa Public Library, Carp branch, was founded in 2008 and regularly brings in about $5,500 per year from the sale of gently used books, music cds and movies. All money raised by the Friends in the 25 stores and self-serve counters in Ottawa is spent on supplies, furniture and services not covered by the municipal budget.