Unseen Charles Dickens letters show author’s awareness of fame
For the first time, a collection of Charles Dickens’ unseen and unpublished letters—some of which reveal his awareness of his fame—are being exposed.
The author’s reading preferences, writing endeavours, and irritation over the elimination of the Sunday mail service are all revealed in the author’s eleven letters.
In one, he claims that he would be “so hampered” that he would consider leaving.
The Charles Dickens Museum has purchased a collection worth £1.8 million, including the letters.
In one, dated February 10, 1866, in which he discusses the elimination of the Sunday postal service, Dickens writes: “I beg to state that I most firmly and vehemently object to the inflicting of any such inconvenience upon myself.”
About the volume of letters he receives and sends, he claims that the proposed restriction would make him “so constrained that I suppose it would compel me to sell my house here” and move out of the Kent community of Higham.
In Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, author Charles Dickens states, “I am on the best terms with my neighbours, poor and rich, and I feel they would be sorry to lose me.
In 2020, more than 300 things were purchased from a US collector, including books, playbills, personal belongings, portraits, and sketches.
The letter criticising the postal service, according to Emily Dunbar, curator of the Charles Dickens Museum, is a “wonderful example of Dickens demonstrating self-importance; his awareness of his huge status and place in a society coming to the fore.”
She cited the letters’ ability to display the author’s writing in his 30s, 40s, and 50s and “the breadth of themes that were on his mind” as “one of the nicest things” about them.
On Wednesday, the exhibit will be on view at the Charles Dickens Museum and online.
Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol are just a couple of works by one of the most significant authors of the 19th century, Charles Dickens. His impact extends far beyond literature, and many of his words, personalities, and concepts have been engrained in contemporary culture.