Charles Dickens

Kathleen Mary Tillotson, Graham Storey, and Angus Easson (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 7: 1853–1855

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MS Free Library of Philadelphia. Address: Miss Power | 5 Rue de Courcelles.

Champs Elysées | Sunday Twenty Fifth November 1855

My Dear Miss Power.

Since I came back from London, I have been in that perpetual state of worry, that I have not been able personally to answer your welcome note. Besides being in the busiest time of my year, and having my new book to think of constantly, I am sitting for a Portrait (in redemption of a promise) and rush every day from my desk to the Atelier, with the monotonous regularity of a Pendulum-swing. You can scarcely imagine how this puts me out, and how I find it dark before I have had a moment to myself.

I merely send this note round, to explain my silence, and to enclose my love to my Marchioness.1 Every day I have been purposing to come, and now I write in a sort of desperation; with the Portrait—still unfinished—fixing its importunate eyes on my despairing visage, and the Christmas No. of Household Words apparently going so wrong, that it may drag me back to London again at any moment. My only comfort is, that they must be both disposed of soon.

I hope you were pleased with what Smith2 was able to do for the settlement of your business.3 He was very anxious to do right.

  •                                    Believe me always | Very faithfully Yours
  • Miss Power.                                           Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 CD's nickname for Ellen Power, her younger sister (perhaps from the Old Curiosity Shop): see Vol. v, p. 16n.
Editor’s Note
2 Presumably H. P. Smith, the actuary.
Editor’s Note
3 Possibly in connection with life insurance or (more likely) an annuity.
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