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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 LEIGH HUNT, [?13 JULY 1838]

MS Comtesse de Suzannet. Date: probably ten days after CD's request to Bentley of ?3 July for a set of the Miscellany.

48 Doughty Street | Friday Evening

My Dear Sir

Here is the unhappy parcel which, after being safely booked and entered in my own mind as gone, has been lying on my table in the dust of fourteen days.

It contains the first four numbers of my new work, a portion of Oliver Twist (which you will find in the two Miscellany Volumes) and an American Edition of Pickwick, which is curious from the singular vileness of the Illustrations.2 Do me the favor to read Oliver and Nickleby first. Of the latter work I have directed the publishers to send you all future numbers regularly; and of the former I will send you more anon, if it interest you—an old stager—sufficiently.

You are an old stager in works, but a young one in faith—faith in all beautiful and excellent things. If you can only find it in that green heart of yours to tell me one of these days that you have met, in wading through the accompanying trifles, with any thing that felt like a vibration of the old chord you have touched so often and sounded so well, you will confer the truest gratification on, My Dear Sir,

  •                                         Your faithful friend
  • Leigh Hunt Esquire                                                  Charles Dickens3

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Editor’s Note
2 Probably Carey, Lea & Blanchard's edn, Philadelphia, 1838, "With illustrations by Sam Weller, Jr. [T. H. Onwhyn] and Alfred Crowquill [A. H. Forrester] The illustrations, first issued in parts, 1837, are reproduced in Grego, Pictorial Pickwickiana, 1899, i, 287–439.
Editor’s Note
3 For Leigh Hunt's reply, see p. 685.
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