DICKENS, Charles. Autograph manuscript notebook, titled 'Gad's Hill Cellar Casks' on upper cover, inscribed inside upper cover, 'Details of Contents of Casks in the Cellar - an account being kept on a slate in the cellar of what is drawn daily from each cask - and added together in this Book at the end of every week beginning 6th June 1870', with entries on four pages, small 8vo, 164 x 102mm, in blue printed wrappers (some light spotting to wrappers and inside upper cover).
ONE OF DICKENS'S FINAL PROJECTS: a poignant manuscript in his own hand listing the contents of his cellar, compiled just two days before his death. Entries for casks of 'Sherry', 'Rum', 'Fine Scotch Whiskey', 'Old Pale Brandy' and 'Dark Brandy' include quantities in gallons and note the date of arrival, shipper (Ellis) or the date from which the casks had been in use. The auction catalogue of the cellar, sold at Gad's Hill on 13 August 1870, showed that it contained approximately 185 dozen bottles (see E. Hewett & W.F. Axton, Convivial Dickens, Ohio: 1983, p.176); references to it appear frequently in Dickens's correspondence, including a letter of 26 February 1869 inviting Alexander Russel to Gad's Hill: 'there is a cellar, deep in the chalk of that Falstaffian region, the contents of which have been stored up with some care' (see Pilgrim Edition, Letters, XII, p.299). The present manuscript helps to chronicle the final events in Dickens's life; in addition to his stocktake on 6 June, he was visited by his daughter, Kate, in his Swiss chalet where he was working on the The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and walked to Rochester with his dogs.