DICKENS, Charles, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Novelist.
Autograph Letter Signed to Albany Fonblanque, 1 page 8vo (glue-stains showing through, trimmed on both sides, but clearly legible), Tavistock House, 28 January 1860. Promising his support for Fonblanque's son in his candidature for the Athenaeum.
'... Immediately after receiving your note, I went down to the Athenaeum to put my name on Bentham's balloting paper, which I supposed to be accessible. But I found it not yet hung up in the usual place.'
The journalist Albany Fonblanque (1793-1872) was himself a member of the Athenaeum and may have met Dickens there. It is recorded of him that he largely withdrew from society in his later years and was seldom seen outside the club. DNB records of his character: 'He seems to have been shy and sensitive, patient in a never-ending contest with ill-health and domestic unhappiness, scrupulously honourable and delicate in all personal relations, and subdued in manner, except when he held the pen or became animated in discussion. All his friends who have left notices of him celebrate his social charm and his disinterested kindness. He was a brilliant talker, a finished scholar, and a theoretical student of music and art.' His son was in the event seconded for the Athenaeum by Thackeray rather than by Dickens.
Not in The Letters, Pilgrim Edition, and apparently unpublished.
[No: 20707]

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