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    Charles Dickens Autograph Letter Signed "Charles Dickens," one page, 4.5" x 7". Devonshire Terrace, Saturday March 2, 1844. With postmarked 4" x 2.25" envelope front panel signed "Charles Dickens" in the lower left, addressed by Dickens to "G. Herbert Rodwell/21 Brompton Row." Dickens writes, in full, "I have been out of town, or I would have answered your letter before - Mr D'almaine is at perfect liberty to use the Lithograph for the purpose proposed. And pray thank that gentleman in my name for the handsome book he has so kindly sent me by your hands." A Christmas Carol; or, Past, Present, and Future by Edward Stirling had opened at London's Adelphi Theatre on February 5, 1844, less than two months after Dickens' book was published. According to the advertisements, it was "the only dramatic version sanctioned by C. Dickens, Esq." In this production, The Ghost of Christmas Present sang "The Song of Christmas" with words by Edward Fitzball and music by G. Herbert Rodwell (1800-1852). According to Michael Patrick Hearn in his introduction to The Annotated Christmas Carol (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), "Dickens gave Rodwell permission to reproduce Leech's picture "Scrooge's Third Visitor" on the sheet music, published by D'Almaine and Company." This letter was written just 25 days after Stirling's production opened and is, undoubtedly, Dickens' permission to D'Almaine to reproduce John Leech's lithograph on the sheet music of Rodwell's song. Dickens had financed the publishing of A Christmas Carol himself and had commissioned John Leech (1817-1864) to create four woodcuts and four hand colored etchings. One of his colored etchings was "Scrooge's third Visitor," depicting The Ghost of Christmas Present, the character who sang Rodwell's song in the play. The letter, in apparent very fine condition, and the signed envelope panel (light foxing, fine condition) have been affixed to a sheet and double-matted with engravings of a Dickens bust portrait (and facsimile signature) and the author's Devonshire home from whence he wrote this letter. Ornately framed under glass, it measures 27.5" x 19.5". Dickens letters referring to A Christmas Carol, even in passing, are extremely desirable. This letter, boldly signed by Dickens with six paraphs, would make an exceptional addition to a literary collection.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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