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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 Victoria & Albert Museum (FC). Date: Forster dates this May (F, ii, iii, iii). But the Agreement with Colburn for The Pic Nic Papers was signed on Fri 10 Aug 38, and CD was probably writing two days before.

Doughty Street. | Wednesday Morning

My dear Forster

I worked pretty well last night—very well, indeed,—but although I did eleven close slips before half past twelve I have yet four to write to complete the chapter1; and as I foolishly left them 'till this morning have the steam to get up afresh.

I do not think I shall be able to call upon you before 3 o'Clock, but if Mr. Colburn will sign the agreement2 (you will see that it is all right) and leave it with you, I will sign a duplicate—if he will leave that too—and return it to him this evening, in which case you can receive the cash.3

If he would rather see me, I can be with him at a quarter to 4. Any way I hope he will complete the arrangement to-day.

  •                                              Faithfully Yours
  • John Forster Esquire                              Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 Refers probably to Nickleby, since no Oliver was to appear in Sep.
Editor’s Note
2 Under the Agreement, "a suitably attractive title" was to be found, to be approved by both parties. CD evidently considered alternatives. A half-sheet of paper in his hand reads: "Pic Nic Papers | Edited by Charles Dickens. (No. 1). | Voluntary Contributions | Edited by Charles Dickens. (No. 2). | Pic Nic Papers | (On the Voluntary System) | Edited by Boz. (No. 3). | The Literary Pic Nic | Edited by Charles Dickens. (No. 4)." (MS Mr H. C. Dickens: from the handwriting, probably written between Autumn 38 and Spring 39).
Editor’s Note
3 The first £50 for Mrs Macrone.
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