Friends of the Dickens Forum.

    The following post from Robert Newsom <[log in to unmask]> has--bewilderingly--
chosen to reach some Dickns-ellers and not others.  To iron out the wrinkle we are re-sending
Bob's post with a nod to the cybernetic gods.

    By the by,  four others of you have sent posts not yet distributed.  We will get your thoughts on the
way in short order.                                                                        (pjm)

[log in to unmask]" type="cite">

I don't think the letter is particularly rude nor atypical. Dickens
bristled whenever he thought his professionalism was in question, and in
this case he seems to have been offended by the request that he go over the
submission in great detail and offer a paragraph-by-paragraph critique
showing the writer where she had gone wrong.

Perhaps she presumed that, being the daughter of a writer Dickens
considered a friend, she could expect to receive special handling. But CD
would have found that extremely unprofessional in an aspiring writer,
whether or not the child of a friend. And truly he did not have the time
for such favors. Perhaps the length of his reply testifies to his
friendship with Maryatt in a backhanded way. A true nobody might have
received no reply at all. (As the child of a writer you of all people
really should know better.)

None of this should be difficult for the people at the Telegraph or Bonhams
to fathom. They are professionals too.

On Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Patrick McCarthy <
[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.

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

[image: A tale of two Dickens? The letter reveals the famous writer may
have had had a short temper]
*A tale of two Dickens? The letter reveals the famous writer may have had
had a short temper*
[image: Hannah Furness]

By 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

Not if that friend is *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
berated her for having the temerity to bother him.

The autographed note, described as "wonderfully rude" was sent from
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".

[image: Florence Maryat]

*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*
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

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

[image: Charles Dickins Letter]

*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

"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

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.