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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. 2: 1840–1841

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MS Victoria & Albert Museum (FC). Date: 31 July was Friday in 1840; paper is watermarked 1840; signature supports that year.

Alphington | Friday Night July 31st.

My Dear Forster.

Bradburys told me you were going to write, but as I have not heard from you, I scrawl a very short note (having just finished my number)3 to say that we shall be home, please God, on Tuesday Evening. I have taken our places by the Telegraph, albeit it is a monstrously dangerous coach. Coming down, we were twice as nearly over as you can conceive. The hills are very steep, and the pace tremendous.4

pg 109Editor’s NoteI don't believe there is anywhere such a perfect little doll's house as this.1 It is in the best possible order—beautifully kept—the garden flourishing, the road lively, the rooms free from creeping things or any such annoyance, and the prospect beautiful. I wish you could see it, and but that you have been so roving of late should have asked you to come down and return with us. It is quite a queer thing, and if it were not for recent demonstrations (I speak of those you know of)2 would give me unmingled satisfaction. I wonder more than ever how he had the heart to write as he did. I hope that's all over.

They seem perfectly contented and happy. That's the only intelligence I shall convey to you except by word of mouth.

Kate joins in kindest remembrances.

  • Always believe me Dear Forster
  •                  Your faithful friend
  •                      Charles Dickens3

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
3 No. 21 (see To Cattermole, ?7 Aug), published 22 Aug.
Editor’s Note
4 Only seven months before, his father had been involved in an accident to the Exeter coach "Defiance" (see Vol. i, p. 620n).
Editor’s Note
109 lines 19–20 replace andillustration with indicating where the artist's subject4began.
Editor’s Note
1 Mile End Cottage, Alphington, which CD had taken for his parents on 5 Mar 39 (see Vol. i, pp. 517–20).
Editor’s Note
2 Doubtless the letter from John Dickens which CD had forwarded to Mitton on 14 June, with a draft of his reply, giving permission for both to be shown to Forster.
Editor’s Note
3 During this visit, says Forster, CD and Catherine had one day's real holiday, "when Dawlish, Teignmouth, Babbacombe, and Torquay were explored" (F, ii viii, 160). On 3 Aug CD was entertained at an evening party by the Mayor of Exeter (Western Times, 8 Aug); earlier, the Western Times (1 Aug), in an article eulogizing him, had criticized Exeter for not granting him the Freedom of the City.
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