Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dickens Letter on the Block

A letter written by Charles Dickens on December 25, 1849, is up for sale at a New Hampshire auction house. In the short note, to journalist William Jerdan, Dickens writes "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As you reprint the extraordinary lies of the New York Herald, perhaps you may like to know something more of their authority. I therefore send you for your own perusal (for I must not anticipate the defence to the ingenious Mr. Powell’s American actions for libel) a few small passages in the life of the distinguished 'literary gentleman from England,' who is in question."

In their listing, the auction house notes that Jerdan's paper, the Literary Gazette, had printed excerpts from an earlier New York Herald piece by Thomas Powell concerning a biography of Dickens and the roots of a dispute.

Bidding on the letter ends tonight. As of 10:45 a.m., the amount bid for this letter was $1815.

There are many other interesting things in this sale, both autographs and full letters.