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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 28 Mar 1995 14:39:22 -0800
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From: Julian Crowe <[log in to unmask]>

Dickens refers to Jacob's Island in a letter to Angela Coutts on 7th
January 1853.  (*Letters from Charles Dickens to Angela Burdett-Coutts
1841-1865* edited by Edgar Johnson, London 1953)

He is describing a visit to the St Mark's District -- I don't know
enough about London parishes to say where that is, although later in the
letter there is a reference to Bermondsey.

He refers to leadmills and Hickman's Folly ("It would be of no use to
touch a limb of Hickman -- his whole body is infected, and would spoil
the mended part.")  I don't know whether these are the same lead mills
described in *The Uncommercial Traveller* article 'On an Amateur Beat'.
He adds: "Jacob's Island adjoins Hickman's Folly, and I see that the
ditch I described in Oliver Twist has since been filled up."

There is one authentic Dickens touch in the letter -- "... a wan child
looking over at a starved old white horse who was making a meal of oyster

Julian Crowe
University of St Andrews