Charles Dickens

Madeline House and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 1: 1820–1839

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MS British Museum. Date: CD had asked permission to visit Newgate the week before (To Macrone, ?27 Oct); he was still awaiting orders from the Chronicle office for his journey to Bristol. Address: Miss Hogarth | Favored by Robert Hogarth Esqre.

Furnivals Inn | Thursday afternoon.

My dearest love.

I have been to-day over Newgate,1 and The House of Correction,2 and have lots of anecdotes to tell you of both places when I see you tomorrow—some of them rather amusing: at least to me, for I was intensely interested in everything I saw.3

Beard is here, and Robert (who called just before dinner) will be the bearer of this note. I have not yet heard from the Office; whether I shall hear tomorrow or not, I cannot say—if I do I will send Fred out in the morning, but at all events I will see you tomorrow: for if I am very hard pressed for time, I will throw the Bell's Life over, altogether.4

I hope your cold is better my dearest girl, and that you have no new complaints either bodily or mental: indeed I feel full confidence after last night that you will not have a renewal of the latter.

Love to all; and believe me my own darling

  •                                           Ever Yours most truly & affecy.
  • Miss Hogarth                                          Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 To collect material for "A Visit to Newgate" for Sketches, First Series. CD was accompanied by Macrone and the American journalist Nathaniel Parker Willis. "We were there an hour or two", wrote Willis, "and were shown some of the celebrated murderers confined for life, and one young soldier waiting for execution … I do not think I heard [CD] speak during the two hours" (Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil, Ephemera section, New York, 1845). See W. J. Carlton, "The Third Man at Newgate", Review of English Studies, New Series, viii (1957), 402–7.
Editor’s Note
2 Coldbath Fields, Clerkenwell, the largest British prison and the leading example of the "silent system". For CD's interest in both prisons, see Philip Collins, CD and Crime, 1962, Chs 2 and 3.
Editor’s Note
3 A passage added to "Some Account of an Omnibus Cad" (see To Catherine, ?29 Oct 35, fn) for Sketches, Second Series, runs: "We went over the House of Correction … shortly after" (to see "the last cab-driver").
Editor’s Note
4 The next sketch of "Scenes and Characters" ("The Vocal Dressmaker"), due on 7 Nov, did not appear until 22 Nov. The series continued in Bell's Life until 17 Jan 36.
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