Search collection catalog »
E-NEWS Facebook logo Twitter logo Google logo YouTube
The Morgan Online Exhibitions
Charles Dickens at 200 Letters
Letter 17 | 4 December 1843 | to Thomas Mitton, page 4
80 of 84
Zoom view Quick view
« Previous Next »

predictions, or so hot in their approval.

I can come down to you before dinner to day—at 4 or 5. A word by Bearer. I wouldn't trouble you about the money, if it were not a case of necessity. But being so busy, I have let it pass until the very last moment. In March or so, please God, I shall be as rich as (a very moderate) Jew.

Faithfully Ever

CD.

Charles Dickens (1812–1870)
Autograph letter signed with initials, London, 4 December [1843] to Thomas Mitton
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1900; MA 97.1

Two days after completing A Christmas Carol, Dickens discovered: "(to my horror) that I have already overdrawn my account." He wrote to request a loan of £200 from Mitton, citing his forthcoming book as collateral: "I must anticipate the Christmas Book, by the sum I mention, which will enable me to keep comfortable," adding that "I wouldn't trouble you about the money, if it were not a case of necessity." Dickens expected that by March 1844, when revenues from A Christmas Carol would be in hand, he would be moderately rich. This letter, in its original envelope, was pasted into the front endpapers of the bound manuscript of A Christmas Carol, a powerful reminder of the acutely difficult personal circumstances under which Dickens wrote this story.

Christmas Books

The Christmas books that Dickens wrote between 1843 and 1848, beginning with A Christmas Carol, permanently linked Dickens's name with the holiday. In 1883 Vincent van Gogh told a friend that he had "re-read them almost every year since I was a boy, and they always seem new to me." Following the enormous success of A Christmas Carol, public expectation led Dickens to write four more novella-length Christmas books. He also continued to publish stories—either written solely by him or in collaboration with others—for or about Christmas in the special holiday issues of his magazine Household Words and All the Year Round. Christmas was his favorite holiday, and each year he celebrated exuberantly, entertaining family and friends with conjuring tricks, games, dancing, and theatrical performances. For Dickens, Christmas was a time for storytelling—particularly ghost stories—and each of his tales is based on an implicit belief in the supernatural and emphasizes the moral benefits of memory and imagination.


Top of page


© The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (212) 685-0008

Home Museum »
Visit the Museum
Exhibitions
Calendar
Public Programs
Education
Collection »
Collection highlights
Online Exhibitions
Music Manuscripts Online
Conservation
The Drawing Institute
Multimedia
CORSAIR Collection Catalog
Research »
CORSAIR Collection Catalog
Research Services
Reading Room
Research Guides
The Drawing Institute
Photography & Rights
About »
Press
History of the Morgan
The Morgan Campus
Employment
Internships
Volunteer
Support »
Membership
Make a Donation
Corporate Membership
Corporate Entertaining
Shop Contact

E-News | Site Index | Terms and Conditions