Charles Dickens

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

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pg 120To W. H. WILLS, 25 JULY 1853

MS Huntington Library.

Boulogne | Monday July Twenty Fifth 1853.

My Dear Wills.

h.w.

I received your parcel last night, and return the proof by this afternoon's boat, with a good many corrections in it. Sala's article1 is so badly printed, that I have been obliged to put a query here and there, really not understanding what is meant.

If I can2 write an article this week, I will.3 But I am so full of the close of Bleak House that I can't, for the life of me, get at a good subject for H.W. as yet.

Dixon's paper4 admirably told, though nothing new in it.

guild.5

I think the reduction of Johnson necessary—but I would do it on not less than a month's notice.

things in general.5

I hope to begin my double No.6 next Monday. If I can get it done in good time, that is to say by the 18th. or 19th. I shall come over with it myself. Of this I will advise you, however, in due course.

Dr. Storrar's7 opinion of Forster gives me great concern, though it has (as I think you know) certainly been mine for some time. I do not myself believe that Elliotson, pre-occupied with other things, has the least idea of the serious nature of his position. And I am strongly inclined to think that the best course I can take is to write privately to Elliotson, and represent to him my impression of the necessity of his positively ordering Forster away.8 What do you think of that?

  • Ever Faithfully
  •                     CD.

Haydn is the Dictionary of Dates man. This is (I think) the third time he has acted towards me in that honorable, and, within my experience, unprecedented manner.9

10A Literary Ladies Maid11 and Corporation Dreams,12 coming together, make me thrill and shudder with indescribable anguish.13

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
1 "Flags to Furl", a satire on electioneering, 6 Aug, vii, 529; the first article in No. 176.
Editor’s Note
2 Doubly underlined.
Editor’s Note
3 CD's "Gone Astray", an account of being lost as a child in the City of London (13 Aug, vii, 553), was presumably written that week; the first article in No. 177.
Editor’s Note
4 His story, "A Midsummer Night's Lodging", set in France (vii, 548).
Editor’s Note
5 Underlined with short double strokes.
Editor’s Note
5 Underlined with short double strokes.
Editor’s Note
6 Nos xix and xx.
Editor’s Note
7 John Storrar, MD, of 37 Brook St, Grosvenor Square.
Editor’s Note
8 Forster had moved to Hampstead to convalesce from recurring rheumatic attacks. On 6 Sep he wrote to Leigh Hunt: "I left Hampstead after a quiet retreat of nearly three months there. (Unfortunately it was a new attack—not simply the remains of the old—from which I have been suffering all the year. Even as yet I am only partially restored)" (MS BL).
Editor’s Note
9 For CD's help in securing Joseph Timothy Haydn (1793–1856; DNB, compiler of The Dictionary of Dates, 1841: see Vol. ii, p. 457n) a grant from the Royal Literary Fund in Dec 49, see Vol. v, p. 685 and n. What gesture Haydn had made to CD has not been discovered.
Editor’s Note
10 Separated from paragraph above it by space and diagonal stroke.
Editor’s Note
11 By Louisa Costello: see To Wills, 17 July, fn.
Editor’s Note
12 A Chip, on the taxes and tolls imposed on poor City tradesmen and costermongers, by Horace Mayhew, 30 July, vii, 512.
Editor’s Note
13 Clearly at the acute contrast between Louis XIV's Court at Versailles and the poverty evoked in Mayhew's sketch.
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