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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 Private.

Devonshire Terrace | Monday October Twenty Third | 1843.

Dear Miss Gillies

Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 3 o'Clock, I will dutifully present myself: having now got rid (almost) of a cold, which has ridden rough-shod—to use the favorite newspaper expression—over my features.

Would you like me to ask Mr. Maclise to look in, during the sitting? He has a mighty knowledge of my face, and expressed himself much struck with the pg 585"spirit"1 of your portrait as photographed.2 "A very little bit"—he said, waving his hand in the air, something [?like an auctioneer,3 and giving it a twist [at] the same time, "would make it ca-pi-tal".

  •                                    Faithfully Yours always
  • Miss Gillies                                                  Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 CD must already have known that the portrait was intended for Horne's New Spirit of the Age.
Editor’s Note
2 Daguerre had pointed out in his History and Practice of Photogenic Drawing, 1839, that the new invention could be useful to the painter, who "will obtain, by this process, a quick method of making collections of studies", and by 1843 some portrait-painters and miniaturists had begun to use photographs to reduce the number of necessary sittings. CD had evidently been photographed in the chosen pose.
Editor’s Note
3 Words obscured by large smear of ink.
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