Monday, December 11, 2006

Dickens' Christmas day letter for sale at US Auction house

Thomas Powell once wrote a bogus biography of Charles Dickens and it appeared in the New York Herald. But, William Jerden, a British Journalist made the mistake of reprinting the biography in the Literary Journal. This didn't set too well with Dickens, so he fired off a letter to Jerden.

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year," Dickens wrote. "As you reprint the extraordinary lies of the New York Herald, perhaps you may like to know something more of their authority.

"I therefore send you for your own perusal (for I must not anticipate the defence to the ingenious Mr Powell's American actions for libel) a few small passages in the life of the distinguished 'literary gentleman from England', who is in question."
Thomas Powell was a known forger and embezzler who escaped from prison in England by pleading insanity. He fled to New York and began trading on those literary figures he knew from England.

The Christmas letter is now up for auction at R&R Auctions in Amherst, New Hampshire, and bidding ends on Wednesday.

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