Letters

Quotations from letters of Charles Dickens.

If any one were to ask me what in my opinion was the dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the Earth, I should decidedly say Chelmsford.

  Background. "If any one were to ask me what in my opinion was the dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the Earth, I should decidedly say Chelmsford." is a quotation from a letter from Charles Dickens to Thomas Beard on 11 January, 1835. The letter was written from the Black Boy Hotel in Chelmsford.   Context. Thomas Beard (1807 – 1891) was a journalist who met Charles Dickens whilst they were reporters together at The Morning [...]

2018-04-10T12:19:46+00:00 Categories: Letters to Friends|Tags: |

I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children, and wander desolately back to that time of my life.

Background. "I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children, and wander desolately back to that time of my life." is a quotation from the letters from Charles Dickens to John Forster. The quotation was published in Forster's biography published soon after the death of Dickens.   Context. Dickens reflects on being sent to work in Warren's Blacking Factory at the age of 12, to help pay off family debts, despite having higher ambitions.   [...]

2018-04-10T12:14:51+00:00 Categories: Letters to Friends|Tags: |

They who are too ragged, wretched, filthy, and forlorn, to enter any other place: who could gain admission into no charity school, and who would be driven from any church door; are invited to come in here, and find some people not depraved, willing to teach them something, and show them some sympathy, and stretch a hand out, which is not the iron hand of Law, for their correction.

Background. "They who are too ragged, wretched, filthy, and forlorn, to enter any other place: who could gain admission into no charity school, and who would be driven from any church door; are invited to come in here, and find some people not depraved, willing to teach them something, and show them some sympathy, and stretch a hand out, which is not the iron hand of Law, for their correction" is a quotation from a Letter to The Daily News [...]

2017-12-08T13:40:00+00:00 Categories: Letters to Newspapers|Tags: , |

It was a hot summer night; and the air of Field Lane and Saffron Hill was not improved by such weather, nor were the people in those streets very sober or honest company.

Background. "It was a hot summer night; and the air of Field Lane and Saffron Hill was not improved by such weather, nor were the people in those streets very sober or honest company" is a quotation from a Letter to The Daily News (on the Field Lane Ragged School), written by Charles Dickens and published on 4 February, 1846.   Context. Charles Dickens was a supporter of the Field Lane Ragged School in the notorious Victorian London slum area [...]

2017-12-08T13:40:37+00:00 Categories: Letters to Newspapers|Tags: , |

How I could have been so easily cast away at such an age.

Background. "How I could have been so easily cast away at such an age." is a quotation from the letters from Charles Dickens to John Forster. The quotation was published in Forster's biography published soon after the death of Dickens.   Context. Dickens reflects on being sent to work in Warren's Blacking Factory at the age of 12, to help pay off family debts, despite having higher ambitions.   Have Your Say. Give your view on "How I could have [...]

2018-04-10T12:15:13+00:00 Categories: Letters to Friends|Tags: |

I have seen, habitually, some of the worst sources of general contamination and corruption in this country, and I think there are not many phases of London life that could surprise me.

Background. "I have seen, habitually, some of the worst sources of general contamination and corruption in this country, and I think there are not many phases of London life that could surprise me" is a quotation from a letter to The Times written by Charles Dickens (on the Manning execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol), November 1849.   Context. Charles Dickens attended an execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol on the morning of Tuesday 13th November 1849, staying all night to witness [...]

I stand astounded and appalled by the wickedness it exhibits.

Background. "I stand astounded and appalled by the wickedness it exhibits" is a quotation from a letter to The Times written by Charles Dickens (on the Manning execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol), November 1849.   Context. Charles Dickens attended an execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol on the morning of Tuesday 13th November 1849, staying all night to witness the crowds gathering for the event. Maria and Frederick Manning were hanged on gallows erected on the flat roof of the prison’s gatehouse for [...]

2017-12-08T13:41:20+00:00 Categories: Letters to Newspapers|Tags: , |