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    Autograph Letter Signed by Charles Dickens to Henry Sanford Bicknell

    Charles Dickens. Autograph Letter Signed by Charles Dickens to Henry Sanford Bicknell, 24 June 1858, declining to joint the Crystal Palace Art Union Council.

    Two small octavo pages (7 1/16 x 4 3/8 inches; 180 x 111 mm.) on a folded leaf. Written in dark blue ink on blue Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London. W. C. letterhead.

    "Thursday Twenty Fourth June 1858 / My Dear Bicknell. / I am exceedingly unwilling / to say No to the proposal with which / the Directors of the Crystal Palace / Company honor me;-and yet I / fear I must. The truth is, that / I abstain, on principle, from / associating myself in name alone / with any project; I know I have / not leisure to bestow on any new / occupation at present; and I / feel it right, not only towards / myself, but also towards the / projectors of this scheme, to / give these plain reasons for declining, / though very unwillingly. / Faithfully Yours always / Charles Dickens / [flourish] / Henry Bicknell Esquire."

    This letter is published on pages 590 and 591 of Volume VIII of The Pilgrim Edition of The Letters of Charles Dickens, with the following note: "To join the Council of the Crystal Palace Art-Union (endorsement, presumably by Bicknell, on letter), formed to promote art and 'art-industry', chiefly through commissioning works for distribution to its subscribers. Established 1859 and warmly welcomed by the Art Journal (articles in 1858 and 1859); its first Committee headed by the Earl of Carlisle."

    Henry Sanford Bicknell (1818-1880), at one time employed by the Crystal Palace Company, was the second son of art patron Elhanan Bicknell (1788-1861) and son-in-law of David Roberts (he married Roberts's only daughter Christine in 1841). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.


    View all of [The H. Barry Morris Collection of Charles Dickens' First Editions ]

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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