Autograph letter signed, 3pp, 20[?] February 1845. To an unidentified recipient.


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Autograph letter signed, 3pp, 8vo (blue paper), Residentiary [?] House, St. Pauls, 20[?] February 1845. Written, according to a note in an unidentified hand, to James Keymer [?], concerning the death of Laman Blanchard: "I am sorry to say that a more serious indisposition than any I have experienced for the last twenty years has for the last month confined me almost entirely to the house. I regret it the more as it will neccessarily prevent my paying a last tribute of respect to the memory of one, the amiable and excellent qualities of whose head and heart no one more fully appreciated than myself. I forward the note addressed to my son into Cambridgeshire. . . . As one who has for several years entertained a very sincere regard for our poor friend Blanchard, I need scarcely say that the abrupt intimation of his decease, which I obtained from the newspaper without having been at all prepared for the probability of such an event by any previous knowledge of his illness or of the domestic affliction . . . gave me a severe shock at this sudden removal of a man the kindness of whose disposition while it secured him many friends must have precluded the probability of his having made an enemy." Mounted to another sheet; a trifle soiled; center fold starting; good.

Richard Harris Barham (1788-1845); author (of The Ingoldsby Legends), lecturer, literary advisor to Richard Bentley, friend of Charles Dickens and John Forster. Barham shared Dickens's love for the supernatural, appreciating particularly The Chimes, of which, at Barham's request, Dickens gave a second private reading in 1844. It was to Barham that Bentley turned to act as mediator in his dispute with Dickens over Sketches by Boz. Samuel Laman Blanchard (1804-1845); essayist, verse-writer and journalist; also a friend of Dickens and many other literary figures of the day. Blanchard took his own life "in a fit of delirium" on 15 February 1845. (Item ID: 15890)

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