Oliver Twist. 8 pages, 4to, blue paper, numerous excisions and emendations (third page deliberately trimmed, with no interruption or loss of text). [With]: SWINBURNE. Autograph letter signed ("Al Swinburne"), to F. G. Kitton, n.d. 1 p., 8vo. Both housed in a cloth folding case. Provenance: Kenyon Starling. " /> SWINBURNE, Algernon C. Autograph draft manuscript signed ("Al Swinburne"), n.d. An essay on <I>Oliver Twist</I>. <I>8 pages, 4to, blue paper, numerous excisions and emendations (third page deliberately trimmed, with no interruption or loss of text)</I>. [<I>With</I>]: SWINBURNE. Autograph letter signed ("Al Swinburne"), to F. G. Kitton, n.d. <I>1 p., 8vo</I>. Both housed in a cloth folding case. <I>Provenance</I>: Kenyon Starling. |
  • Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1981

    The William E. Self Family Collection Part I The Kenyon Starling Library Of Charles Dickens

    2 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 201

    SWINBURNE, Algernon C. Autograph draft manuscript signed ("Al Swinburne"), n.d. An essay on Oliver Twist. 8 pages, 4to, blue paper, numerous excisions and emendations (third page deliberately trimmed, with no interruption or loss of text). [With]: SWINBURNE. Autograph letter signed ("Al Swinburne"), to F. G. Kitton, n.d. 1 p., 8vo. Both housed in a cloth folding case. Provenance: Kenyon Starling.

    Price Realised  

    SWINBURNE, Algernon C. Autograph draft manuscript signed ("Al Swinburne"), n.d. An essay on Oliver Twist. 8 pages, 4to, blue paper, numerous excisions and emendations (third page deliberately trimmed, with no interruption or loss of text). [With]: SWINBURNE. Autograph letter signed ("Al Swinburne"), to F. G. Kitton, n.d. 1 p., 8vo. Both housed in a cloth folding case. Provenance: Kenyon Starling.

    "NEITHER CHAUCER NOR MOLIERE HAS EVER BREATHED LIFE INTO A CHILD OF HIS GENIUS MORE WORTHY & MORE SURE OF IMMORTALITY"

    An early draft of Swinburne's introduction for the 1902 autograph edition of Dickens's works (edited by Frederic G. Kitton). This draft focuses mainly on Oliver Twist while the published version ranges across some of the later works as well. In both, Swinburne concedes some ground to the early 20th century impatience with Dickens's sentimentality, but makes a determined case for his artistic genius nevertheless. "Master Twist & Mr. Monks are merely necessary figures, without whom we could not enjoy the company of such lifelong friends as the Dodger, & Mr. Bumble...Fagin & Sikes...On the literary & sentimental side of his work Dickens was but a type of his generation & his class; on the comic & the pathetic, the tragic & the creative side, 'he was not of an age, but for all time.'...Neither Chaucer nor Moliere has ever breathed life into a child of his genius more worthy & more sure of immortality."

    "It is interesting to remark," he continues, "how many of the minor figures in this early work remind the appreciative reader of others more fully & happily developed in later & riper books. The excellent & slightly conventional Mr. Brownlow is a first rough sketch or study for the perfect lifelike portrait of Mr. Jarndyce; the featureless & flaccid virtue of Rose Maylie takes form & life & colour in the noble simplicity & the selfless devotion of Agnes Wickfield & Esther Summerson. These names may be bywords with subtle & superior writers & readers: but there are still some who prefer the type of Sophia Western to the type of Emma Bovary; be it said with all due reverence to the unique genius of Flaubert, a writer often imitated & always inimitable." He ends this draft with a warm tribute to Cruikshank, whose "genius...was happily yoked in harness with the genius of Dickens." In the accompanying autograph letter to Kitton, Swinburne advises that he has finished the introduction, and pokes fun at a rival critic's pamphlet on Dickens.


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