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Lot 62
[DICKENS, CHARLES (1812-1870, novelist and actor)]
Sold for £1,200 (US$ 1,920) inc. premium

Lot Details
[DICKENS, CHARLES (1812-1870, novelist and actor)]
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT BY CHARLES THOMAS CLEMENT JAMES OF A SHORT STORY entitled 'Concerning the Sinkingsop and Slush Railway', 3 pages, quarto, written on one side only in blue ink, watermark date 1893, held at head by original pin, slight trace of former mount or hinge at head of first page, easily removable, no date [1893]

Footnotes

  • This manuscript is a fine example, the only one seen commercially, of the remarkable similarity in the handwritings of Charles Dickens and Charles James (of Woodlands, Shorn, by Gravesend, Kent) - indeed so similar are their hands that one suspects some consanguinity, perhaps well outside the prohibited degrees.

    It is of course well known that Dickens visited ladies in Kent, and Gravesend was the nearest town to Gad's Hill Place. Railways fascinated Dickens.

    James himself commented on the similarity in a letter to George Kitton:

    'Friday, eighteen September 1896

    Dear Sir,
    With reference to your letter of yesterday's date, the similarity of my handwriting to that of the great Charles Dickens was first brought under my notice in this way: The printers to the Publishers who accepted my second or third novel, five or six years ago, were the now extinct firm of Dickens & Evans. On my story being sent to them for setting-up, the first-named partner, (the but recently deceased eldest son of the novelist) waited personally upon my publisher and pointed out the remarkable similarity of "hand" - his expression being, as repeated to me, that mine was "like a ghost" of the great original. This appeared to me to be so curious a coincidence, that I (who had, up to that moment never seen Dickens's writing in my life) went purposely to South Kensington Museum where, I feel sure, the shock was as great to me as to the discoverer of the likeness. So much for that. But, here comes the really curious point of connection with the resemblance. - Whenever a reviewer gets to work on one of my books, nine times out of ten there is a reference to Dickens in his critique - sometimes complimentary, sometimes v[er]y much the reverse. In short, a reviewer can no more keep a mention of Dickens out of a notice of one of my books, than Mr Dick could keep King Charles's head out of his own; and it is with rather a grim smile, I fancy, that I at such times remember the so-seldom [correctly] quoted line with reference to there being "more in heaven and earth, Horatio" - et cetera et cetera! It has certainly often occurred to me that a graphologist might be interested in the resemblance; but, until your letter, I have not given any details to anyone on the subject...'
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