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DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Autograph letter signed ('Charles Dickens') to the comic actor J.P. Harley, Doughty Street, 'Wednesday' [probably 28 November 1838], ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE LAMPLIGHTER, asking Harley to drop in at Doughty Street after his performance of The Tempest on the Saturday, 'I have begun the Lamplighter and if I have finished him by that time (as I hope I shall have done) I want to make an appointment with you to go over it on Sunday morning. Mum is the word 'till we see how it goes. He promises very well; I have just done your account of an uncle deceased, who committed suicide when gas first came up -- and I think it's funny', two pages, 8vo, on mourning paper; laid down on front endpaper of Dombey & Son, London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848 (worn, the front endpaper detached).
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DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Autograph letter signed ('Charles Dickens') to the comic actor J.P. Harley, Doughty Street, 'Wednesday' [probably 28 November 1838], ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE LAMPLIGHTER, asking Harley to drop in at Doughty Street after his performance of The Tempest on the Saturday, 'I have begun the Lamplighter and if I have finished him by that time (as I hope I shall have done) I want to make an appointment with you to go over it on Sunday morning. Mum is the word 'till we see how it goes. He promises very well; I have just done your account of an uncle deceased, who committed suicide when gas first came up -- and I think it's funny', two pages, 8vo, on mourning paper; laid down on front endpaper of Dombey & Son, London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848 (worn, the front endpaper detached).

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DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Autograph letter signed ('Charles Dickens') to the comic actor J.P. Harley, Doughty Street, 'Wednesday' [probably 28 November 1838], ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE LAMPLIGHTER, asking Harley to drop in at Doughty Street after his performance of The Tempest on the Saturday, 'I have begun the Lamplighter and if I have finished him by that time (as I hope I shall have done) I want to make an appointment with you to go over it on Sunday morning. Mum is the word 'till we see how it goes. He promises very well; I have just done your account of an uncle deceased, who committed suicide when gas first came up -- and I think it's funny', two pages, 8vo, on mourning paper; laid down on front endpaper of Dombey & Son, London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848 (worn, the front endpaper detached).

As the letter suggests, Dickens wrote The Lamplighter at extraordinary speed (he was also working on Nicholas Nickleby): it was intended for his close friend, the great actor and manager Charles Macready, but was judged too weak for production, and withdrawn.
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