Charles Dickens’ Unseen Letters First Published

A series of unseen and unpublished Charles Dickens letters will go on display for the first time on Wednesday.

His 11 letters include invitations and details about the author’s reading habits and writing projects as well as details about a trip to Switzerland written for a friend.

In a letter dated February 10, 1866, Dickens also complained about the loss of Sunday postal service and threatened to move out of his vicinity.


The letter was written from Lausanne on August 5, 1846, to his friend and lawyer Thomas Mitton. Dickensdes detailed description of his time in Switzerland (Charles Dickens Museum/PA)

He wrote: “I would like to say that I firmly oppose causing any such inconvenience to myself.

“There are probably many people in this Higham village who do not receive or send mail in a year, as much as I usually receive and send in a day… I am best with my neighbors, though poor and rich, and I believe they will be sorry to lose me.

“But I should have been stymied by the proposal so restrictive that I think it would force me to sell my property here and leave this part of the country.”


Letter to IH Newman from Gad’sHill Place on February 10, 1866, in which Dickens expressed passion against a proposed change to the Sundaypostal service (Charles Dickens Museum/PA)

The letters are among more than 300 items acquired by the Charles Dickens Museum from a US collector in 2020, including personal objects, portraits, sketches, plays and books.

The entire collection, worth £1.8 million, has been acquired by the museum with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Foundation, the Arts Foundation, Friends of the National Library and the Dickens Scholarship .

Emily Dunbar, curator at the Charles Dickens Museum, said: “One of the most amazing things about this collection of letters is that it shows Dickens writing in his thirties, forties and fifties and many more. Various topics are occupying his mind.

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“The letter complaining about the lost Sunday delivery is a great example of Dickens demonstrating his self-esteem, sense of fame and great standing in society.

“He also mentioned the large volume of letters left behind and to his address, of which this new set of letters is a small but interesting part.”

Dickens has written many classics including Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield.

The exhibition will be on display at the Charles Dickens Museum and online from Wednesday. Charles Dickens’ Unseen Letters First Published

Fry Electronics Team

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