DICKENS, Charles. 19573



A superb early Autograph Letter Signed “Believe me (in haste) faithfully yours, Charles Dickens”, to the actor and stage manager John Pritt Harley, about the delivery of the “Loaf”, saying he has given Harley the character of “Felix Tapkins Esq. (formerly of the India House”. 2 pp. 7 x 4 inches, the integral leaf (neatly mounted) bearing Dickens’s postscript and the original envelope addressed to J.P.Harley Esq., Upper Gower Street, signed ‘Charles Dickens’ lower left. Furnivals Inn, Tuesday morning, undated [1837]. “Don’t be frightened about the ‘Loaf’. It shall be delivered in the course of a day or so; I have altered it; it only wants the song, and copying.” Charles Dickens (1812-1870), author. The postscript reads: “Have the goodness to let one of the Theatre Messengers bring home my ‘Strange Gentleman’ portmanteau. I want to pack it.” The Strange Gentleman was a play written by Dickens for Harley. John Pritt Harley (1786-1858), actor and singer, stage-manager and leading comedian at the St James’s Theatre from September 1836.This letter probably refers to the other play written by Dickens for Harley, ‘Is She His Wife?”. The character of Felix Tapkins is one of Dickens’s eternal optimists. The Felix Tapkins character makes his entrance singing “A hunting we will go”. Is She His Wife? opened on Monday, March 6th, 1837. Charles Dickens rented rooms in Furnival’s Inn between December 1834 and throughout the first year of his marriage, until 1837.