London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
DICKENS, Charles. Autograph letter signed to Joseph Langford, Tavistock House, 18 January 1858, one page, on a bifolium, 8vo (very slightly browned at vertical fold, faint marginal smudge).
HIGH PRAISE FOR GEORGE ELIOT: 'Will you - by such round about ways and methods as may present themselves - convey this note of thanks to the author of Scenes of Clerical Life: whose two first stories I can never say enough of, I think them so truly admirable.' Writing to Joseph Langford of Blackwood & Sons, Dickens continues '...if those two volumes, or a part of them, were not written by a woman - then should I begin to believe that I am a woman myself!'. Marian Evans ('George Eliot' 1819-1890) had asked John Blackwood to send copies of Scenes to Dickens, Thackeray, Tennyson, Ruskin, Faraday, Albert Smith, Mrs Carlyle and Arthur Helps (Ed. Gordon S. Haight, The George Eliot letters, II, 418). Dickens also wrote directly to 'Mr Eliot' on 18 January (see British Library, Add 41667) expressing his great admiration. Eliot sent a reply via the publishers ('the iron mask of my incognito seems quite painful in forbidding me to tell Dickens how thoroughly his generous impulse has been appreciated').
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