Rare letter in which the budding author presents his fi rst book.
Dickens was a parliamentary reporter for a newspaper called Mirror of Parliament. By 1833, he started to publish in periodicals his fi rst sketches of London life and in 1836 they were gathered in Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-Day Life, and Every-Day People, with plates by George Cruikshank. The success of his fi rst volume enabled Dickens to marry Catherine Hogarth in 1836, though it was to her sister Mary that he was romantically attached.
“When I was connected with ‘the Mirror of Parliament’ in the capacity of a reporter, I had the honor to wait on Your Lordship, for the purpose of taking a faithful report of a portion of Your Lordship’s Speech, on moving the Second reading of the Irish disturbances bill, from your own mouth: Your Lordship having been pleased to express so high an opinion of the report of that part of your Speech which had originally fallen into my hands, as to select me for the task. I trust Your Lordship will forgive my recalling so unimportant a circumstance to your recollection when I advert to it, merely as an apology for the liberty I take, in entreating Your Lordship ‘s acceptance of the accompanying Volumes-the fi rst I ever published…”
“If there be anything singular or presumptuous in this request My Lord, there is so little singularity in my being an enthusiastic, though humble Admirer, of your distinguished character, that I feel almost confi dent in the strength of my excuse. The wish of authors to place their works in the hands of those, the eminence of whose public stations, is only to be exceeded by the lustre of their individual talents, is, as always has been, so generally felt, even by the greatest Men who have ever adorned the Literature of this Country, that I hope it may be