Charles Dickens

Madeline House and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 2: 1840–1841

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pg 163To SIR EDWARD LYTTON BULWER, 12 DECEMBER 1840

MS Lytton Papers.

  • 1 Devonshire Terrace, York Gate
  • Twelfth December 1840.

Dear Sir Edward.

Let me thank you for the copy of your comedy1 received this morning.

I told Macready when he read it to me a few weeks since, that I could not call to mind any play since the Good Natured Man,2 so full of real, distinct, genuine character; and now that I am better acquainted with it, I am only the more strongly confirmed in this honest opinion.3

You may suppose that "I was there to see",4 last Tuesday;—I most heartily and cordially congratulate you on its brilliant reception and success, which I hope will encourage you to other efforts in the same Path.5 I feel assured that you will tread it alone.

  •                                         Faithfully Yours
  • Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer.                    Charles Dickens

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 Money, dedicated to Forster, which had been produced by Macready at the Haymarket 8 Dec 40. A copy inscribed "From the Author" was in the Gad's Hill library at CD's death.
Editor’s Note
2 Goldsmith's comedy. Both it and Money were among the plays rehearsed, though not performed, by CD's amateur company in Feb 48.
Editor’s Note
4 Cf. final lines of "The Diverting History of John Gilpin": "And when he next doth ride abroad, | May I be there to see!"
Editor’s Note
5 During the next two years Bulwer struggled to find a subject for another play for Macready; searched classical and French authors; urged Macready himself to sketch a plot. "If I were writing a comedy for Farren, I should soon knock it off", he wrote [Aug 42]; "But strange to say, you are my stumbling-block—I cannot raise myself up to that grave high Humour which would alone suit your dignity" (op. cit., p. 214). After Money, the only comedy of Bulwer's to be performed was Not so Bad as We Seem first played by CD's amateur company in 1851.
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