Lot 4015: ALS signed "Wilmot," one page, 4.5 x 7, Gad's Hill Place letterhead, December 5, 1863. Letter to Peter Cunningham, reenacting a play they had performed in together. In part: "I am delighted to get the hearty letter of my old Will's-Coffee-House friend, Le Trimmer; and again the shade of poor dead Middlesex crosses me, saying, 'Here's Peter, won't come on, you know!'—then in a ghostly manner, raps gold snuff-box, and fades into the other world…God bless us all this coming Christmas, and give us Christmas thoughts!" In fine condition.
Dickens weaves allusions to the play Not So Bad as We Seem throughout this letter, which he had performed in with Cunningham in 1851. Written by Lord Bulwer-Lytton, it was performed at a charity event to benefit the Literary Guild with a cast that included Dickens as Lord Wilmot, Cunningham as Lord Le Trimmer, and artist Frank Stone as the Duke of Middlesex. Stone, who had passed away suddenly in 1859, is reincarnated in his role as Middlesex as if one of the ghosts in A Christmas Carol. December 1863 represented the twentieth anniversary of the debut of Dickens's Christmas classic, making this an even more phenomenal letter related to both his famous holiday novel and his active life in theater.
RR Auction's Mario Puzo Archive And Literary Rarities Auction 470
Thursday, 18th February 2016
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