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Subject:
From:
Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 1 Apr 2016 10:59:01 -0700
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Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     Tony Pointon <tony,[log in to unmask]> accuses The Daily Telegraph 
of "denigrating" Dickens.
We realize that finding fault [especially with the later] Dickens is not 
uncommon:      (pjm)
>
>
> Marryat Letter.
>
> The newspaper, *daily Telegraph*, has had a principle of denigrating
> Dickens over a long period of time, often aided and abetted by people who
> should know better. One time they even published an erroneous piece which
> gratuitously harmed one of his living descendants.
>
> Reading the "Marryat letter", it has to be one of a sequence: (a) Miss
> Marryat submits a piece to him for publication; (b) Dickens rejects it with
> his normal  courtesy; (c) Miss M writes back asking for his detailed
> reasons for his rejection, a request that an editor would normally ignore;
> (d) Dickens spells out the facts of publishing life to Miss M but takes
> time to give her detailed comments.
>
> Of course, every newspaper editor would recognise this, but there is too
> much fun in denigrating Dickens for them (and others) to exercise any
> thought before attacking him.
>
> Tony Pointon
>
>
>
> On 31 March 2016 at 18:37, Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> Friends of the Dickens Forum,
>>
>> Grahame Smith <[log in to unmask]> <[log in to unmask]>
>> Joins Robert Newsom, et al., in not finding Dickens's response
>> out of order.   (pjm)
>>
>>
>> Dickens’s response seems to me entirely reasonable. How on earth could he be expected to edit and also offer constructive advice for an evidently unsuitable piece of writing? What a cheek, I’d say, on the part of the contributor.
>>
>> Grahame Smith Stirling (Emeritus)
>>
>>
>>
>> On 30 Mar 2016, at 18:38, Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Friends of the Dickens Forum,
>>
>>      The circumstances around the writing of a newly discovered letter are being guessed at in the
>> following newspaper article.  Fortunately some of Dickens's writing is included, and we can wait
>> to learn what occasioned the letter.
>>
>>      We recall accounts of would-be contributors to CD's periodicals boasting to friends that they
>> "had received a letter from HIM."  In short, receiving an explanatory turn-down from CD was
>> usually much valued by the writer.                                                                        (pjm)
>>
>> Unseen Charles Dickens letter reveals rude retort to fan
>> A letter has emerged at auction revealing the darker side of Charles Dickens, and a distinct lack of patience
>> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/12184001/Unseen-Charles-Dickens-letter-reveals-rude-retort-to-fan.html <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/12184001/Unseen-Charles-Dickens-letter-reveals-rude-retort-to-fan.html> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/12184001/Unseen-Charles-Dickens-letter-reveals-rude-retort-to-fan.html>
>>
>> -----------------
>>
>> A tale of two Dickens? The letter reveals the famous writer may have had had a short temper
>>   <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/hannah-furness/> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/hannah-furness/>
>> By Hannah Furness <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/hannah-furness/> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/hannah-furness/>, Arts Correspondent
>>
>> 12:00PM GMT 05 Mar 2016
>>
>> When your father's close friend is one of the best-loved writers in the history of English literature, not to mention editor of his own journal, it would not be unreasonable to request a small leg-up for one's own fledgling career.
>>
>> Not if that friend is Charles Dickens. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/>
>> An 1860 letter from the author, never published before now, reveals one such would-be author was given short shrift after asking for advice, after Dickens <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10580182/Charles-Dickens-in-pictures.html> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10580182/Charles-Dickens-in-pictures.html> berated her for having the temerity to bother him.
>>
>> The autographed note, described as "wonderfully rude" was sent from Dickens <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/9018185/Dickenss-London-in-pictures.html> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/9018185/Dickenss-London-in-pictures.html> to Florence Marryat, the daughter of his friend Captain Frederick Marryat, the author of Children of the New Forest.
>>
>> She had offered him a short story for consideration in his journal All The Year Round, asking for advice on any parts he felt did not work.
>>
>> Instead, she received a furious three-page missive, declaring the story entirely uninteresting and her request "scarcely reasonable".
>>
>>
>>
>> Florence Maryatt  Photo: National Portrait Gallery
>>
>> The letter, which is believed to have passed from the family into a Victorian autograph collection, has now emerged at auction where its contents can be shared with the public for the first time.
>>
>> It will go on sale at Bonhams on March 16, with an estimate of £2-3,000.
>>
>> Matthew Haley, head of Bonhams book department, said: "The letter <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/9512328/Charles-Dickens-letter-surfaces-after-150-years.html> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/9512328/Charles-Dickens-letter-surfaces-after-150-years.html> seems to show him at the point of tearing his hair out.
>>
>> "He's absolutely eviscerating this budding author. Very often his letter are quite polite and menial, so it is a surprise to see him going off on one about how rubbish her writing is.
>>
>> "He could just have been having a bad day, of course, and she later dedicated one of her books to him so does not seem to have held any grudges."
>>
>> In the letter, Dickens told Miss Marryat his sole objective at the journal was to elicit the best writing possible.
>>
>> "I cannot, however, alter what seems to me to be the fact regarding this story (for instance), any more than I can alter my eyesight or my hearing," he said.
>>
>> "I do not deem it suitable for my Journal.
>>
>> "You ask me to pass my pen over the paragraphs which displease me. Surely that is scarcely reasonable.
>>
>> "I do not think it is a good story. I think its leading incident is common-place, and one that would require for its support some special observation of character, or strength of dialogue, or happiness of description.
>>
>>
>>
>> A page from Dickens' ill-tempered letter
>>
>> "I do not find any of these sustaining qualities in it.
>>
>> "I am not interested in the young people, therefore, and I cannot put away from myself the unfortunate belief that the readers of All The Year Round would not be interested in them."
>>
>> In case he had not sounded sufficiently indignant, he added: "You have no idea of the labor inseparable from the editing of such a Journal as All The Year Round, when you suppose it within the bounds of possibility that those who discharge such duties can give critical reasons for the rejection of papers.
>>
>> "To read professed contributions honestly, and communicate a perfectly unprejudiced decision respecting every one of them to its author or authoress, is a task, of the magnitude of which you evidently have no conception."
>>
>> Signed with Dickens' unmistakable scrawl, it was sent in February 1860 when Miss Marryat was in her 20s.
>>
>> She appears to have been unperturbed by the sharp rebuke, going on to write her first novel five years later.
>>
>> By her death in 1899, she had written some 68 novels, with numerous other magazine and journal articles to her name.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>