DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Novelist.
Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent, 1 page 8vo, Devonshire Terrace, 'Monday Sixteenth October', no date [?1840]. Slightly soiled from former mounting, but generally good. Declining his help.
The exact dating of the letter presents an interesting challenge. There were only three years in Dickens's lifetime when 16 October was a Monday, 1848, 1854 and 1865. The last of these is impossible as Dickens had sold the lease of Tavistock House in 1860, and on 16 October 1854 he was with his family in Boulogne. The form of the signature exactly matches known examples from 1840 (when 16 October was a Friday), but there seems little doubt that the letter should be dated 1848.
'Having been very much out of town, I regret to say that I am obliged to shut myself up every morning just now (except Sundays) and cannot have the pleasure of seeing anyone.'
Dickens had taken a nine-month holiday from writing books at the beginning of 1848 but would by October have been busy on his Christmas book for that year, The Haunted Man.
With an engraving of Dickens (head and shoulders) by William Harry Warren Bicknell (1860-1940, American painter) on parchment paper, signed by the artist.
The letter is not found in The Letters of Charles Dickens, Pilgrim Edition, and it is evidently unpublished.