Charles Dickens

Kathleen Mary Tillotson (ed.), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 4: 1844–1846

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MS Jarndyce Books.

Devonshire Terrace | Eighteenth February 1846

My Dear Sir

As I am not the Editor of the Daily News, and am very rarely at the office, your letter was opened by a Confidential Secretary who attends there. I mention this, to account for my not immediately thanking you for your valuable communication, and expressing the pleasure the Authorities have in availing themselves of it.2

  •                                    Believe me | Faithfully Yours
  • William Howitt Esquire.                              Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
1 William Howitt (1792–1876; DNB), author; married Mary Botham 1821; both were prolific writers, separately and in collaboration, and William had established a reputation with Rural Life of England, 1836, and Visits to Remarkable Places, 1840. CD reviewed his Boy's Country Book in the Examiner, 7 Apr 39 (see Vol. i, p. 536, hn) but did not meet the Howitts until later—probably through Fox, Horne, or Southwood Smith, and certainly before their residence in Germany 1840–3. Their home at Clapton was the resort of many radical writers, and in 1846 both were contributing largely to the People's Journal, of which in Apr they became co-editors and partproprietors, with W. J. Linton and the publisher John Saunders. For the opening No., 3 Jan, Howitt wrote a 7-column article on CD, acclaiming him especially for his "championship of the weak and oppressed".
Editor’s Note
2 Nothing appeared over Howitt's signature in the Daily News.
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