2 NOVEMBER 1872, Page 17



SIR,—In your ingenious and suggestive article of last Saturday on "handy Books," there are one or two points on which you will perhaps allow us to speak a word in our defence.

1. Your remark that our new "Household Edition" of Mr. Dickens's Works "will never be read by anybody who can buy any other" may be true. Our express desire in issuing that edition was to bring the works within the reach of a class to whom they had not hitherto been accessible,—the class, namely, who can afford a penny a week for a story. As you admit, we have produced "a clearly printed and cleverly illustrated" edition, which is being extensively bought by the people who can buy no. other, as was our intention.

2. Your idea of a book that "shall roll up like a silk handker- chief" is most attractive. But English tradition is incorrigibly hostile. We published a cheap edition of Mr. Dickens's Works. about twenty years ago in green-paper covers.* In that form they had no sale, while the same edition bound in cloth sold largely.

3. With reference to the comparative cheapness of our English issues and those of Baron Tauchnitz, we can only say that "David Copperfield," the novel of which you are speaking, is published in the Tauchnitz series at six francs,f while we issue it in the "Charles Dickens" edition, in cloth binding with eight illustrations,. for three shillings and sixpence.—We are, Sir, &c.,