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Charles Dickens

Madeline House, Graham Storey, and Kathleen Mary Tillotson (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 3: 1842–1843

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MS Morgan Library. Address: Miss Coutts | Stratton Street.

  • Devonshire Terrace.
  • Saturday Evening | Second July 1842

My Dear Miss Coutts.

I beg to report myself arrived and well—and in proof of the fact, to send you the Rocking Chair.3 Let me also ask your acceptance of some specimens of American Poetry,4 which I forward at the same time.

I send for Miss Meredith, an Eagle's feather.5 Its rightful owner fell over the great fall at Niagara last winter (or, I should rather say, was carried over by the strong current) and was picked up, dead, some miles down the river.

I did not forget Lady Burdett's request. A piece of rock from the cave behind the great sheet of water is slumbering ignominiously in the Custom House, among some other contraband articles. As soon as the chest comes to hand, I shall have the pleasure of redeeming my vow.6

  •                                         Believe me always
  •                                              Yours faithfully and obliged
  • Miss Burdett Coutts                                   Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
3 Apparently he brought one for himself as well. In "Personal Reminiscences of my Father" (supplement to the Windsor Magazine, Christmas 1934) Charley Dickens wrote: "My first really clear recollection of [my father] is in connection with a certain American rocking-chair, which I presume he had brought back with him from the States, and in which he often used to sit of an evening, singing comic songs to a wondering and delighted audience consisting of myself and my two sisters. The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman … was one of these ditties". Catherine had brought back with her an "old Fan with Chinese Figures, and Musical Instruments in the Sticks", given her in America—by whom is not known. (She left it in her Will, 31 Jan 78, to Mamie.)
Editor’s Note
4 Probably Rufus Griswold's Poets and Poetry of America, Philadelphia, 1842. Cf. To Lady Holland, 11 July and fn.
Editor’s Note
5 Cf. To Miss Coutts, 22 Mar; and, for the gift of a similar feather, To Lady Holland, 11 July.
Editor’s Note
6 He did so on 13 Jan 43 (To Lady Burdett, that day).
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