Charles Dickens

Graham Storey (ed.), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 11: 1865–1867

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To MRS ELLIOT, 4 MARCH 1867

MS Huntington Library.

Newcastle on Tyne | Monday Fourth March 1867

My Dear F.

You know what a life this present life of mine is, and therefore I will not explain why I have not written sooner. The Bath people, I may mention at once, pg 325quite disappointed me.!1 They proved to be a remarkably delicate and discriminating audience; very earnest too, and expressing themselves accordingly.

All things being "in a concatenation accordingly,"2 Dolby is going to bring me to Clifton on Tuesday the 2nd. April. I dont myself care for it as a particularly good place or time, but "it lies in our way", he says. Therefore if you don't hear from me to the contrary, I shall hope that you will come round to me that evening. If you and the Dean will come and have a half hour's supper with us afterwards, I shall be delighted. Of course I am away again the first thing next morning.—For Cardiff.3

Charley Collins is trying to recover from his illness, at Gad's Hill; where Georgina is keeping house for him and Katie. It has done him good at first; but I am not confident that any thing will do him much good for long together. Mary is in Hampshire.4 I am here, there, everywhere, and nowhere. Next week I go to Ireland. If you ever write, address me "Private", at the Office. All goes well with me, Thank God, and I turn this very day the half of my Fifty Readings. They are made as easy to me as such a Course (under such circumstances of absence) possibly can be.

I hope you are a little brighter in spirit than when I heard from you at Bath?

  • Ever affectionately       
  • CD.    

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Notes

Editor’s Note
2 Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer, Act 1 (one of his favourite quotations). He had read Doctor Marigold and The Trial on 8 Feb and Copperfield on the 9th, in the Assembly Rooms. In a long and warm notice, the Bath Chronicle, 14 Feb, recorded the large audience's "hearty applause at his first appearance" and the "still heartier testimony of their admiration and enjoyment" they gave him during the two readings.
Editor’s Note
3 In fact, he read at Swansea: see To Mrs Elliot, 2 Apr and fn.
Editor’s Note
4 Staying with her friends the Humpherys, no doubt.
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