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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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MS Comtesse de Suzannet. Date: the letter mentioned in To Macrone, 9 Dec.

13 Furnivals Inn | Tuesday Morning.

My Dear Sir.

I fear I shall find it necessary to go over Cold Bath Fields Prison4 again, for I have seen so many places and written so much since I was there, that I have forgotten many important particulars.

Should you have any objection to oblige me with a line to Mr. Chesterton5 pg 102Editor’s Notereminding him that I went over the Prison a short time since with Macrone on Mr. Laurie's1 (the magistrate's) introduction; and committing me to his charge again? It has occurred to me that perhaps you could do me this favour without laying yourself under any obligation, as that gentleman is a friend of yours.

I am sure you will excuse my troubling you with this request—it is your own fault, for you have shewn so much kind interest in my book, and your good opinion of it is so gratifying to me that I do not hesitate to trouble you about it when I should feel great reluctance in troubling other people.

If you have any objection to writing to Mr. Chesterton I beg you will not fail to mention it at once, for I can get another order from Mr. Laurie by calling on him.

  •                                        Believe me
  •                                             Dear Sir
  •                                                   Very truly Yours
  • George Cruikshank Esqre.                            Charles Dickens

The Printer has instructions to forward proofs to you regularly every evening.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
4 The House of Correction, which he had visited on 5 Nov.
Editor’s Note
5 George Laval Chesterton (d. 1868), Governor of Coldbath Fields Prison 1829–54; later a friend of CD's. Royal Artillery officer 1812–15, serving in Spain, America and Belgium; entered Bolivar's service in South America 1818, becoming Captain in the Colombian Army: see his Narrative of Proceedings in Venezuela in the Years 1819 and 1820, 1820. Worked as a journalist in London 1819–29. He transformed Coldbath Fields, appallingly corrupt on his appointment, into a model prison
Editor’s Note
102 n. 2 line 1 for Autograph Prices Current, VI, 49, read Berg Collection Dickens Anthology, p. 17
Editor’s Note
1 Presumably Peter Northall Laurie (1808–77), barrister, a Middlesex magistrate since 1833. Nephew of Sir Peter Laurie (attacked as Alderman Cute in The Chimes), also a Middlesex magistrate. Author of Prison Discipline and secondary Punishments, a pamphlet, 1837. In 1850 changed his name to Northall-Laurie—perhaps to avoid confusion with his uncle, who had virtually adopted him. For particulars of them both, see P. G. Laurie, Sir Peter Laurie, a Family Memoir, privately printed, Brentwood, 1901.
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