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Letter from Charles Dickens to J. P. Harley, 16 April 1838


Archives & Manuscripts

Object number (per part)

A910, 2019.5.62

Object name (per part)


Production person

Dickens, Charles

Production date

16 April 1838


Charles Dickens writes to J. P. Harley, inviting him to a dinner with himself, Forster and his father, John Dickens. Although undated, Dickens's diary notes that on Thursday, April 19 1838 he attended 'Mitton’s dinner at the Albion. Six for half past precisely.' Hence the date for this letter being determined as 16 April.

Physical description

Primary support- thin cream laid Western paper
Media- iron gall ink, pencil
black ink, 2pp, 2 sides, signed

Inscription content

To John Harley [16 April 1838]
Doughty Street
Monday Morning

My Dear Harley,
A very old friend of mine, a solicitor who has just entered into a very advantageous partnership, is going to give a little feed to his co-partners, and a very few friends on Thursday next at the Albion in Aldersgate street. Except the partners you know the seven who compose the party, for the others are Forster, my father, and myself.
As I am anxious to give as much pleasure as I can on this occasion; and as my friend has (as most men have) a high admiration of your abilities, in no wise diminished by his having met you here at the christening, I cheerfully take upon myself (at his request) the asking you to join us. Say “no” and I never forgive you. Say “yes” and join us here at ten minutes past six next Thursday, and I shall always remain
Faithfully yours

Credit line

Purchased with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Friends of the National Libraries and the Dickens Fellowship.
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