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    Sale 5822

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including the Works of Charles Dickens

    1 June 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 141

    DICKENS, Charles. Autograph letter signed to [William Angus], on 'Office of All the Year Round' headed paper, Tuesday 5 February 1867, 2 pages, 8vo (slight fading of ink, very light surface soiling to first page, creasing and light wear at folds, a few light spots).

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    Estimate

    DICKENS, Charles. Autograph letter signed to [William Angus], on 'Office of All the Year Round' headed paper, Tuesday 5 February 1867, 2 pages, 8vo (slight fading of ink, very light surface soiling to first page, creasing and light wear at folds, a few light spots).

    A direct and rather brutal rebuff to a hopeful author. Although Dickens offers his opinion as 'an individual writer and student of Art, who by no means claims to be infallible', he is adamant that Angus should not pursue a career as a writer. Having worked his way through his three volumes Dickens declares 'I think you are too ambitious... you have not sufficient Knowledge of Life or character to venture on so comprehensive an attempt. Evidence of inexperience in every way, and of your being far below the situations you imagine, present themselves to me in almost every page...'. He offers no encouragement ('I cannot even satisfy myself that you have the faculty of authorship latent within you'), but suggests that Angus might find an outlet for 'short pieces of fiction...' as he himself was once obliged to do ('try if you can to achieve any success within those modest limits (I have practised in my time what I preach to you))'. William Angus was the son of John Angus, a clerk at Somerset House (see Pilgrim edition, Letters, VII, p.71) and is likely to have been the author of Purchase in the Church (1878).


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