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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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pg 476To [?MISS] H. DOWNING,1 27 DECEMBER 1838

MS Free Library of Philadelphia.

48 Doughty Street | 27th. December 1838

Dear Sir,

Pray do not heap upon me any more "little responsibilities" until I have thrown off those which now press heavily upon my conscience.

I hope and trust you will see the unfortunate Hen2 in the February Number. These delays are not mine, nor can I help them, although they press quite as severely upon me—in their consequences at least—as upon anybody else.

I return you—for the present—your last paper, and am

  •                                            Very truly Yours
  • H. Downing Esquire                            Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
1 Harriet Downing, author of several vols of poems 1816–40 and of Remembrances of a Monthly Nurse, 1852. Two stories published anonymously in the Miscellany—"Three Notches in the Devil's Tail", Aug 37, and "The Man with the Club Foot", Oct 37—are indexed as "by the Author of 'Reminiscences of a Monthly Nurse'" (which had evidently appeared as a magazine serial), and listed in the Bentley Papers (MSS BM) as by H. Downing. Presumably CD did not know that she was a woman.
Editor’s Note
2 There is nothing in the Miscellany in 1839 to which this could refer.
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