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2020-09-15 15:18:03
DICKENS, Charles.
ALS to 'My Dear Dr. Smith', from 9 Osnaburgh Terrace, New Road, twenty-eighth May, 1844.
1844. 27 lines in blue ink on first & second side of folded 8vo leaf. Lightly folded into four for posting. v.g. Pilgrim Letters, vol. IV, p.134. A nice warm letter to Dr. Thomas Southwood Smith, a physician and public health reformer, and a friend of Dickens through their mutual interest in the workings of the Poor Law Commission. Dickens had arranged an evening with Southwood Smith and several others, but was unexpectedly compelled to make alternative arrangements: 'I regret to say that we are placed in the preposterous situation of being obliged to postpone our little dinner on Saturday, by reason of having no house to dine in'. Dickens explains, 'A most desirable widow (as a tenant, I mean) proposed, only last Saturday, to take our own house for the whole time of our intended absence abroad – on condition that she had possession of it today. We fled, and were driven into this place, which has no conveniences for the production of any other banquet than a cold collation of Plate and Linen – the only comforts we have not left behind us'. He mentions the forthcoming Sanatorium Dinner, assuring Smith he will 'try and be the better man' and make him 'as happy and content' as he can. Signed 'always faithfully yours', with his characteristic flourish. Charles Babbage was also invited to Dickens's aborted soirée, and received a similarly worded letter from Dickens on the same day. Dickens duly attended the Sanatorium Dinner on June 5th, and the whole Dickens household left for their trip to Italy in July. The 'desirable' widow tenant, who rented Devonshire Terrace from Dickens … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers [London, United Kingdom]
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