Charles Dickens

Madeline House and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 1: 1820–1839

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MS Victoria & Albert Museum (FC). Date: Forster says this refers to Pickwick, No xiv, published 30 Apr (F, ii, i, 89); impossible since letter has mourning seal. Signature strongly suggests Autumn: not Sep as no Oliver to be written then; not Nov as Pickwick finished: therefore presumably Oct.3 Probably 12th, since the final Nos of Pickwick were in proof and Oliver still to do. Address: John Forster Esqre.

Doughty St. | Thursday Morning

My Dear Forster.

I have so many sheets of the Miscellany to correct, before I can begin Oliver, that I fear I shall not be able to leave home this morning. I therefore send your4 revise of the Pickwick by Fred, who is on his way with it to the Printers'. You will see that my alterations are very slight, but I think for the better.

pg 319Let me know by a line in writing how you are. I hope you did not find that the couple of glasses of wine you took, injured you at all—that you took no cold—and that you got home well, and slept well. Take care of yourself, and tell me that you are in good stout spirits at least.

  • Believe me Ever
  •        Most Faithfully Yours
  •               Charles Dickens

John Forster Esqre.

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Editor’s Note
3 Perhaps the final double No. of Pickwick was enough of an event to account for CD's decision to show Forster the proofs.
Editor’s Note
4 "you the" written first; then "the" cancelled and "you" changed to "your". Although muddled in his dating of the letter (implying both Apr and July for different reasons), Forster seems right in saying it marked the beginning of the long period over which he helped CD with his proofs: "There was nothing written by him after this date which I did not see before the world did" (F, ii, i, 89).
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