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2020-09-15 15:18:03
DICKENS, Charles.
ALS to 'Dear Mr [George] Holsworth', on headed mourning paper, Gad's Hill Place, Wednesday eighteenth January 1865.
1865. 19 lines on first side only of folded 8vo leaf; v. sl. dusted, & with faint pink lines of unknown origin not affecting text. Lightly folded for posting. Pilgrim Letters, vol. XI, p.7. An interesting letter to Holsworth, an employee in the offices of All the Year Round, that casts light on Dickens's creative processes, and shows the meticulous nature of his research. Dickens asks Mr. Holsworth, 'Will you get me Chambers's Book of Days', before further instructing him to 'go to Mr Edmonds at Willis's, and ask him if he has, or can at once get me, Merryweather's Lives of Misers'. He explains he has 'present and particular occasion to refer to that work, or any other, or others, containing accounts of Dancer, Elwes, and other misers well known.' Dickens was at this time engaged in writing the monthly instalments of Our Mutual Friend, and was clearly gathering material to help illustrate one of its main protagonists, Nicodemus Boffin, 'The Golden Dustman'. In the novel, Mr Boffin is the main benefactor of Harmon's will, but following his unexpected inheritance assumes the persona of an irrepressible miser, in part to demonstrate the dangers of limitless wealth to his daughter Bella. Dickens's need was evidently pressing, as he tells Holsworth, 'I shall be saved a great deal of time and delay, if I can get what I want, here, tomorrow (Thursday)'. Signed 'Faithfully Yours', with his usual flourish. Holsworth, it seems, was able to fulfil his commission, as Dickens later invoked some of the very names mentioned in this letter in the novel, in one of Boffin's justificatory tir … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers [London, United Kingdom]
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