DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870). Six autograph letters signed to correspondents including Major Jebb, O.C. Walter, Albert Smith, Joseph Lilly, Mr Ellis, and Mrs Florence Marryat Church, Chester Place, Boulogne, Tavistock House (2), Gad's Hill, Hyde Park Place, 15 April 1847 - 26 March 1870, 10½ pages, 8vo, tipped into an album (also including transcripts), early 20th-century red morocco gilt by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, the upper cover lettered in gilt, the lower cover with central gilt tool of Dickens' signature, gilt fillet borders, foliate corner-pieces, spine in six compartments, lettered in two and dated at foot, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, gilt edges.
Dickens writes to Major Jebb about his proposed visit to Pentonville, adding in a postscript, 'I should much like to have the power of speaking to a prisoner'. On the first of his three summer visits to Boulogne, he thanks Walter for some 'honest and kind advice' sending greetings from Mrs Dickens and Miss [Georgina] Hogarth. A humourous letter to Albert Smith (a successful comedian, on a visit to Paris) invites him to dine ('we have no party of an Easterly or bleak nature - no flavor of genteel company'), referring to Smith's 'liqueur case', and reminding him that 'I am the intellectual party to whom you presented a Dutch cheese lately', also mentioning Boulogne, 'that capital place'. The remaining letters refer to a claim upon the Literary Fund; to his son, Frank's wish to visit the Lyceum, asking for a pass to be left at the 'Free List office' for Frank and a friend; and to Mrs Marryat Church's request for a recommendation to Chapman and Hall.
Dickens' curiosity about prisons was encouraged by his examination of prison regimes in America. The new model prison at Pentonville, where the 'separate system' which he had seen in Philadelphia was adopted, would have been of particular interest. Georgina Hogarth, his sister-in-law, frequently accompanied Dickens and his wife and was to become his housekeeper on his separation from Catherine Dickens. Florence Marryat Church was the daughter of the novelist, Captain Marryat.