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CHARLES  DICKENS
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CHARLES DICKENS DECLINES AN INVITATION FROM IRISH ANTIQUARIAN THOMAS CROFTON CROKER IN FAVOR OF THE NEWSVENDORS’ BENEVOLENT INSTITUTION’S DINNER

 

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870). Dickens was a highly-influential British writer. He wrote many well-known works, including David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol. Many of Dickens’s works included strong elements of social critic and commentary, and Dickens was a strong advocate for social change as well.

 

ALS. 1pg. 4 ½” 7”. November 13, 1849. Devonshire Terrace. An autograph letter signed Charles Dickens.  It is addressed to Thomas Crofton Croker (1798-1854), an Irish antiquarian and specialist in Irish fairytales. Croker is best known for his collection of fairytales Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, and he ran in some of the same Nineteenth Century literary circles as Dickens. In the letter, Dickens declines an invitation from Croker: “Dear Sir, I am most unfortunately in the filling-up of that important…in your kind note. For on Wednesday the 21st I preside at a public dinner of the Newsvendors’ Benevolent Institution and (for that day) feel is no other hope in me. Believe me Very faithfully yours Charles Dickens. Dickens was a great supporter of charities and social causes, particularly those that benefitted the poor, as Dickens’s father was incarcerated in a debtor’s prison when Dickens was young. The letter, in fine condition, is matted and framed along with a small image of Dickens. It is accompanied by a 1920s bill of sale for the letter.