- A fascinating 1857 handwritten and signed letter from Charles Dickens
Featuring Dickens' attractive handwriting and bold signature.
The letter is headed 'Gallery of Illustration', a performance venue on London's Regent Street.
Dickens writes in reference to benefit performances he is arranging for the widow of his friend and fellow writer, Douglas Jerrold.
Dickens and friends are performing the Dickens play 'The Frozen Deep'.
Dickens writes the letter to Scottish poet Charles MacKay (1814-1889) on June 19, 1857.
It is likely that MacKay was among the actors who would perform the play.
Dickens writes, in part: "...We beg to inform you that we have taken the liberty of adding your name to this committee, in the full assurance that you would readily extend that same time and support..."
Following Jerrold's death on 8 June 1857, Dickens arranged four benefit performances at the Royal Gallery of Illustration.
The first of these, on 4 July, was a royal command performance for Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their family. Other guests included royals King Leopold I of Belgium, Prince Frederick William of Prussia, and his fiancée Princess Victoria, and literary figures William Thackeray and Hans Christian Andersen.
Victoria praised the performance, especially Dickens’ acting, in her diary.
Additional performances at the same venue took place on 11, 18 and 25 July.
Folds and slight wear in evidence. Very good for its age.
Provenance: Ex. Stanley Gibbons
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