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(DICKENS, CHARLES.) Heath, Charles. The Heroines of Shakespeare. 45 portraits by various artists engraved by Charles Heath. 8vo, publisher's gilt-pictorial red cloth, heavily worn, foot of spine darkened and chipped; scattered foxing and soiling to contents, a few leaves loose or becoming loose, tissue guards torn or toned, front hinge reinforced with cloth and front endpaper missing. New York: John Wiley, 1849
inscribed and initialed by dickens to his close friend, journalist and editor charles kent on the front pastedown: Charles Kent Esq / yours affectionately, CD, 1870." Dickens died on June 9th of that year, making this one of the last gift inscriptions to his friend. In fact, the last known letter Dickens wrote was to Kent, on 8 June 1870 (donated by Kent to the British Museum in 1879). The two were first acquainted when Kent wrote a review of the recently published "Dombey and Son" in his newspaper, The Sun. Dickens, quite touched by it, wished to thank the author and their meeting began a long friendship. Kent wrote for Household Words, was a frequent visitor to Gad's Hill, and was entrusted by Dickens to create a record of his reading list which he published in 1872 as "Charles Dickens as a Reader." Tipped to front blank is a sheet signed "Charles Dickens 1870" with paraph, but in a very shaky, studied hand, possibly the author's. It is noteworthy that Heroines was printed by Wiley, one of Dickens's main American publishers; they were advocates of international copyright law, and the only American house that paid royalties to foreign authors. They published an edition of David Copperfield the year after this volume appeared. Ley, James. The Dickens Circle: A Narrative of the Novelist's Friendships. Pages 354-57. New York, 1919.
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