Charles Dickens

Madeline House and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 2: 1840–1841

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To GEORGE CATTERMOLE, 30 JANUARY 1841

MS Huntington Library.

  • Devonshire Terrace
  • Saturday Evening | January Thirtieth | 1841.

My Dear George.

I send you the first four Slips of No. 48,5 containing the description of the Locksmith's house, which I think will make a good subject, and one you will like. If you put the 'Prentice in it, shew nothing more than his paper cap, because he will be an important character in the story, and you will need to know more about him as he is minutely described.6 bI may as well say that he is very short.b Should you wish to put the locksmith in,7 pg 199you will find him described in No. 2 of Barnaby (which I told C and H to send you)—Browne has done him in one little thing,1 but so very slightly that you will not require to see his sketch, I think.

Now, I must know what you think about the Raven,2 my buck, otherwise I am in this fix.—I have given Browne no subject for this No., and time is flying. If you would like to have the Raven's first appearance, and don't object to having both subjects, so be it. I shall be delighted. If otherwise, I must feed that hero forthwith.3

I cannot close this hasty note, my dear fellow, without saying that I have deeply felt your hearty and most invaluable co-operation in the beautiful illustrations you have made for the last story—that I look at them with a pleasure I cannot describe to you in words—and that it is impossible for me to say how sensible I am of your earnest and friendly aid. Believe me that this is the very first time any designs for what I have written have touched and moved me, and caused me to feel that they expressed the idea I had in my mind. I am most sincerely and affectionately grateful to you, and am full of pleasure and delight.

  • Believe me,
  •           My Dear Cattermole | Always Heartily Yours
  •                                                  C.D
  •                                                        Over

aWe are just the same at home. But next week, I should say, must put us all to rights.a

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Notes

Editor’s Note
5 Of Master Humphrey. It was No. 3 (Chs 4 and 5) of Barnaby; published 27 Feb.
Editor’s Note
6 CD prepared for this illustration on p. 5 of his MS, where Varden, entering his workshop, catches sight of "his 'prentice's brown paper cap ducking down to avoid observation"; but Cattermole must have received the whole of Ch. 4, with its minute description of Simon Tappertit, in time for his illustration. He drew Simon, alone in the workshop, with folded arms and curling lip uttering "with supreme contempt the monosyllable 'Joe!'".
Editor’s Note
bb Added over a caret.
Editor’s Note
7 "let Chapman know directly, as Browne has done him" cancelled here.
Editor’s Note
1 "The wounded man", tailpiece to Ch. 3 (No. 2).
Editor’s Note
3 The raven did not appear until the next number. Browne illustrated a different subject—Varden, Dolly and Simon at breakfast (Ch. 4).
Editor’s Note
aa Not previously published.
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