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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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To CHARLES HICKS, [?10 MAY 1839]

MS Dickens House. Date: clearly May, since Madeline Bray is first mentioned by name in the June Nickleby (Ch. 46); CD was probably writing on the 10th, expecting Evans to receive the enclosed copy next day—in fact on the 11th.

Elm Cottage, Petersham, Surrey | Friday Evening

Dear Mr Hicks

The copy which precedes that now inclosed has gone to Mr. Browne,1 who will send it to Chapman and Hall who will send it to you. In the first half of slip 20, "Cray" is written for "Bray", and "Janet" for "Madeline". Perhaps you will alter this, if you remember it, and save your readers some botheration. Please to be careful of the MS.

Send me the proof, if you please, by the twopenny post. I hope to get on like a house on fire, and will of course come up to town to correct the last chapters, and lose no time in sending copy as I write it.

My compliments to Mr. Evans and ask him what will be his feelings when he gets the copy on the 10th.2

  •                                         Faithfully Yours
  • Mr. Hicks                                        Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
1 A timetable drawn up by Browne shows that he usually expected to receive copy for the first subject by the nth of the month, and would send a sketch to CD on the 13th. This would be returned, with copy for the second subject, on the 14th, and a sketch of the second subject would go to CD on the 15th, being returned the next day. The plates were generally finished ten days later (D. C. Thomson, Life and Labours of Hablot K. Browne, 1884, p. 234). Having done no illustrations for the May No., owing to a sudden indisposition, Browne supplied four for the June No., the first of which was "Nicholas makes his first visit to Mr. Bray".
Editor’s Note
2 Under the draft Agreement of Nov 37, CD had undertaken to deliver copy on the 15th of each month (see p. 658) and in the early Nos seems to have attempted this. His subsequent practice was to aim to have it ready by the 20th (J. Butt and K. Tillotson, Dickens at Work, 1957, p. 17). But he was not always successful: see To Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 18 July 38.
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