Item No: cdc379401
Title: ALs to Mark Lemon
Friday Eight December
We were close at your heels last night, but you had vanished with a celerity worthy of —what shall I say—? a better cause.
As I was coming home, it occurred to me to say, don’t speak to Jerrold on the Cowell subject until I shall have had an opportunity of speaking with you.
Friday Eighth December 1854
Rare Book Department
"Close at your heels" is a euphemism for the devil: "he that the devil drives, feels no lead at his heel" (Proverbs). Dickens may have wanted to write a satirical article about Cowell or the Preston Strike for Punch. In his article "Locked Out" HW 10 Dec 53, viii, p.345 and “On Strike” (Household Words, VIII, 11 Feb 1854, pp. 553-559) Dickens reported on the strikers who were demanding a 10 percent increase in wages. Dickens reported on the civility of strikers and its leader Cowell. He also visited Preston to conduct research for Hard Times which was released in weekly installments in Household Words and bore little resemblance to what he observed in person.
Lemon, Mark, 1809-1870
Gift of Mrs D. Jacques Benoliel, 12/6/54.
Volume 7, p. 479, The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House & Graham Storey; associate editors, W.J. Carlton…[et al.].
Creation Place Note:Tavistock House
DL L544m 1854-12-08
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 - Author