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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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Text from Memorials of Thomas Hood, ed. [Mrs F. F. Broderip and T. Hood, Jr], 1860, II, 146–7.

Devonshire Terrace, November 30th, 1842.

My dear Hood,

In asking your and Mrs. Hood's leave to bring Mrs. D.'s sister (who stays with us) on Tuesday,1 let me add that I should very much like to bring at the same time a very unaffected and ardent admirer of your genius, who has no small portion of that commodity in his own right, and is a very dear friend of mine and a very famous fellow; to wit, Maclise, the painter, who would be glad (as he has often told me) to know you better, and would be much pleased, I know, if I could say to him, "Hood wants me to bring you."

I use so little ceremony with you, in the conviction that you will use as little with me, and say, "My dear D.—Convenient;" or, "My dear D.—Ill-convenient," (as the popular phrase is), just as the case may be. Of course, I have said nothing to him.2

  • Always heartily yours,
  •                                  Boz

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Editor’s Note
1 For Hood's invitation to CD and Catherine, see 12 Nov, fn.
Editor’s Note
2 Hood replied the following day: "'The more the merrier'—which I suppose is the reason of such a mob of mourners at an Irish Funeral. | Many thanks therefore for your friendly additions to our little edition of a party. We shall be most happy to see Mrs. Dickens's sister (who will perhaps kindly forego the formality of a previous call from Mrs. Hood) and as to Maclise I would rather be introduced to him—in spite of Mason on Self Knowledge [a treatise by John Mason (1706–63; DNB), Nonconformist minister; published 1745]—than to myself. Pray tell him so much—& give him the 'Meet'. | I fancied one day that I saw coming out of your house a younger Brother who dined with us at Greenwich [no doubt Fred]—would he object to come with you?—but I will not suggest, Mrs. Hood having just desired me to send you the enclosed, which you must consider, on both sides, to comprehend" (MS Huntington; Letters of Thomas Hood, ed. P. Morgan, p. 513). A footnote in Memorials, ii, 147, reads: "I do not know what the enclosure was, but I remember on one side my father painted a white vehicle on a black ground, thus giving Mr. Dickens a carte blanche to bring whom he pleased." Other guests who accepted included Forster, Ainsworth, Julia Pardoe and Manley Hopkins (the father of Gerard); R. H. Barham, B. W. Procter, Lady Morgan and John Poole were expected (Hood to Dr Elliot, ?2 Dec 42, quoted in W. G. Lane, "A Chord in Melancholy: Hood's Last Years", Keats-Shelley Journal, xiii [1964], 51).
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