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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 Brotherton Library, Leeds. Date: PM 8 May 37. On mourning paper.2 Address: William Harrison Ainsworth Esqre. | Kensal Lodge | Harrow Road.

48 Doughty St. | Monday Morning

My Dear Ainsworth.

It is my melancholy task to inform you that Mrs. Dickens' sister whom you saw here, and at the dinner on Wednesday,3 died in my arms yesterday afternoon. She had accompanied us to the Theatre the night before apparently in the best health; was taken ill in the night, and lies here a corpse. She has been our constant companion since our marriage; the grace and life of our home.—Judge how deeply we feel this fearfully sudden deprivation.

  •                                         My Dear Ainsworth
  •                                              Faithfully Yours
  • William Harrison Ainsworth Esqre.                    Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 For CD's use of mourning paper, see To Harley, ?5 Apr 37, fn.
Editor’s Note
3 No doubt the Literary Fund dinner of 3 May (see To Jerdan, ?21 Apr, fn). Mary Hogarth was presumably among the "numbers of elegant females" in the galleries (The Times, 4 May).
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