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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To JOHN OVERS, 16 FEBRUARY 1840

MS Free Library of Philadelphia.

1 Devonshire Terrace, York Gate | February 16th. 1840.

Dear Mr. Overs.

I have read your Legend of Canterbury with great interest and pleasure. It would have been a most creditable performance to anybody—it is strikingly and remarkably so to you, who write under so many disadvantages —and if I had the controul of any Magazine, I would publish it immediately.

It has occurred to me that as this Story possesses a local as well as a general interest, it would be excellently adapted to a Kentish Magazine. Now although there is no such thing in existence (that I know of) at this moment, I have reason to believe that there soon will be, as a gentleman who has such a periodical in contemplation wrote to me about it a few weeks since.1 I strongly recommend you to write to this gentleman yourself—to mention me in any way you please—and to say that you will be happy to send him your tale for perusal, if he will permit you. His address is "H. G. Adams Esquire—J Bryant Esquire's Parsonage House— Chatham". I think it will be an acquisition to him, and that you will be mutually obliged to each other.2

I don't know what the resources of this local Magazine may afford—very little, I dare say—but the gentleman of whom I speak, cannot be offended by your asking the question and I have no doubt will return you a straight forward answer. I would lose no time, but write to him immediately, and I again empower you to make the fullest use of my poor recommendation.

  •                                         Very faithfully Yours
  • Mr. J. A. Overs.                                   Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
2 "The Legend of Canterbury" did not appear in the Kentish Coronal.
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