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Estimate: $ 3,500 - $ 5,000
"OLIVER TWIST . . . WILL SHORTLY BE PUBLISHED" DICKENS, CHARLES. Autograph Letter Signed, twice (in the third person within the text and on address panel), to Lord Robert Grosvenor, explaining the origin of [Wackford] Squeers and Dotheboys Hall, and announcing the impending publication of Oliver Twist. 2 pages, 8vo, written on the recto and verso of a single sheet; short closed separations at folds, most of integral blank trimmed away with remnants of prior mounting along trimmed edge, faint scattered staining. With the original envelope, additionally signed and addressed in his hand, red wax seal bearing the lion of the Dickens family crest intact. "Twickenham Park" [London], 9 July 1838
". . . Mr. Squeers and Dotheboys Hall were originally suggested to [Dickens] by such advertisements as Lord Robert Grosvenor has had the kindness to enclose. Those particular advertisements had never come under Mr. Dickens' notice before, although he was in the immediate neighborhood of Mr. Twycross (as he finds by his printed address) in the course of a little tour among the Yorkshire schools which he made last winter. "Mr. Dickens feels much flattered by Lord Robert Grosvenor's inquiry in behalf of Oliver Twist, and begs to inform him that the tale will shortly be published in three volumes." In January of 1838, Dickens visited schools in the Yorkshire area whose advertisements mentioned "no vacations" (suggesting that unwanted children were welcome). In Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby, Wackford Squeers was the fictional headmaster of the equally fictional boys' school, Dotheboys Hall. Published in British Academy Pilgrim Edition: The Letters of Charles Dickens, ed. House and Storey, vol. 1, 1982.