ALs to Lady Blessington

Charles Dickens
ALs to Lady Blessington

Item Info

Item No: cdc276201
Title: ALs to Lady Blessington
Accession Number: 87-142
Physical Description: [4] pages + envelope
Material: paper

Devonshire Terrace.
  Fourth April 1848.

My Dear Lady Blessington
       I should have come to you this this morning, to answer your note myself, but for having just now received a note from Jeffrey (who has been very unwell and confined to his bed) saying he is coming in the course of the day, if I can make it convenient to stay at home. So I write this.
       I greatly fear that I cannot be of service to you, in the matter of your book. And you will see how this is, when I explain the occasion of my misgiving.
      Bradbury and Evans found their starting as publishers, so damaging to their business as printers, that they drew in their horns almost as soon as they had put them out, and made every effort to have it understood in the trade that their connexion with me was a special affair, and that they would, in future, extend their publishing business no further. This was so well received, and so immediately useful to them, that they have confined themselves rigidly to Dombey, and those things arising out of Punch, previously publishing at the Punch office.  In the case of Forster’s Goldsmith even (which they purchased, years ago) they distrusted the idea of being the publishers when the Manuscript was, the other day, completed; and accordingly Chapman and Hall’s name was added to theirs, as an expression to the booksellers that Bradbury and Evans hadn’t failed in their truth.
        Under these circumstances, I am so certain of their not taking your book, that I feel it would be wrong towards you to offer it, as placing you, knowingly, in a position of some disadvantage. I am quite sure of the result.
  Chapman and Hall publish nothing at Novel price—their knowledge of books, is pretty much on par with yours and mine of dragons—and they have never once, in all these years, entered into any enterprize I recommend to them, though I have very often tried my utmost.
  I will come and see you one morning this week, and talk the subject over. I wish I could see any way of being of any use.
  I am heartily pleased by all that you say, so kindly, of Dombey. In the strangeness of my separation from all those people, I am quite forlorn; and such a cordial and genial remembrance of them, as your, is delightful.
                                                Dear Lady Blessington
                                                      Ever truly Your friend
                                                       Charles Dickens
The Countess of Blessington

MssDate: Fourth April 1848
Media Type: Letters
Source: Rare Book Department

By 1848, publishers would not publish Lady Blessington's novels unless she paid for them. (M. Sadleir, Blessington-D'orsay, 1933, p.285). Her only published book after 1847 was published posthumously, Country Quarters, Shoberl, 1850. 

Recipient: Blessington, Marguerite, Countess of, 1789-1849
Provenance: Gift of Mrs.D. Jacques Benoliel, 12/6/55.


Volume 5, pp. 271-272, The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House & Graham Storey; associate editors, W.J. Carlton…[et al.]

Country: Creation Place Note:Devonshire Terrace

Call Number: DL B617m 1848-04-04
Creator Name: Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 - Author

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