Charles Dickens

Graham Storey (ed.), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 12: 1868–1870

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MS Huntington Library. Address (envelope, MS Chicago Public Library); Miss Hogarth | Gad's Hill Place | Higham | Rochester | Kent. PM 20 Mar 69.

  • Queen's Hotel, Manchester
  • Saturday Twentieth March 1869

My Dearest Georgy

Getting yours, and its enclosure Mary's note, at 2 this afternoon, I write a line at once in order that you may have it on Monday Morning.

pg 314aThe account of the Olliffe family quite horrifies me. I am haunted by it, and cannot get it out of my thoughts. But it is in the chin and cheekbone of the race by the mother's side, and they will be anatomical tell-tales for centuries.a1

The Theatre Royal Liverpool will be a charming place to read in. Ladies are to dine at the dinner, and we hear it is to be a very grand affair. Dolby is doubtful whether it may not "hurt the business" by drawing a great deal of money in another direction—which I think possible enough. Trade is very bad here,2 and the gloom of the Preston Strike seems to brood over the place.3 The Titiens Company4 have been doing wretchedly. I should have a greater sympathy with them if they were not practising in the next room now.

My love to Letitia and Harriette,5 wherein Dolby (highly gratified by being held in remembrance) joins, with the same to you.

  • I am ever my Dearest Georgy | Your most affectionate     
  • CD.   

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
aa Crossed out on MS, probably by MDGH, in preparing letter for printing; omitted by MDGH and N.
Editor’s Note
1 They were clearly suffering from one of several congenital bone diseases.
Editor’s Note
2 Despite this, the Manchester Examiner, 22 Mar, predicted an "overflowing audience" for his final reading on 22 Mar—Sikes and Nancy and the Carol—and the Manchester Guardian, 23 Mar, reported it as "composed entirely of warm friends." "Every point told, and at the close Mr. Dickens was recalled several times."
Editor’s Note
3 Cotton spinners and minders from c. 40 Preston mills had been on strike since 15 Mar over a 10% reduction in wages, to save the mill-owners from "bankruptcy and ruin"; on 16 Mar a large meeting in Preston demanded arbitration; by 19 Mar more than 3,000 operatives had been made redundant because of strike action (The Times, 12–20 Mar).
Editor’s Note
4 The Grand Italian Opera from Her Majesty's Theatre, London, performed three operas in the Prince's Theatre 23–5 Mar: Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Editor’s Note
5 Mrs Augustus Dickens.
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