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Dickens Mania.

The history of book auctions scarcely affords parallel to the extraordinary price paid the other day at Sotheby's for a lot which consisted of six original drawings by R. Seymour for ' Pickwick,' a number of early impressions of the plates, and an autograph letter from Dickens to Seymour, a portrait of Seymour, and a few other items loosely arranged on five or six pages of a scrap book. Separated from the paper upon which the prints are pasted, the entire lot could be comfortably stowed away in the waistcoat pocket. Starting at LlO, the "hundreds" were soon reached, the biddings being chiefly between Mr Quaritch and Mr B. F. Stevens. The lot was eventually knocked down to the former for Lsoo—a sum which, in L 5 notes, probaoly represents more than the actual weight of the lot itself. When one remembers that exquisitely beautiful illuminated manuscripts have sold for a fraction of this sum, and that a decent first-folio Shakespeare can be purchased for less than half the amount paid in this case for a few paltry prints in anything but good condition, one is compelled to speculate as to the next phase of book-buying vagary—we had almost said insanity. Wo gathered incidentally that Mr Quaritch purchased the book for a customer who resides in Paris. The day before tho same auctioneers sold for L 64 an interesting and very scarce book relating to Pickens. It is ' An Account of the Origin of the Pickwick Papers,' by Mrs Seymour, widow of the distinguished artist who originated tho work, with Mr Dickens's version and her reply thereto, showing tho fallacy of his statements. This work, which was suppressed, also contains letters of her husband and other distinguished men. The Mackenzie copy of this pamphlet realised L 72. Another lot—*Mr Thackeray, Mr Yates, and tho Garriok Club'; theCforres-

pondcnce and Facts stated by E. Yates,' with a long letter from Dickens to Thackeray, printed for private circulation — was knocked down to Mr Quaritch for Ll9 10s.—English Paper. Since the head-master of a certain college for yoimg gentlemen publicly urged the other day the desirability of girls being allowed to play games, such as tennis, rounders, and cricket, instead of the eternal "crocodiling" about the streets, there has been mutiny and rebellion amongst the young ladies at mo3t of the select boarding' schools in the neighborhood. One highly respected principal, whose establishment was noted for the decorousness of ita scholars, is lying prostrate from a shock shd received on discovering her pupils playing leap-frog in the music room ! A second was thrown into convulsions of horror, from which it is feaio.l sho will never thoroughly recover, at beiug suddenly deserted when she was walking out with her string of young ladies, who took precipitate flight in the rear of a boys' college paper-chase; whilo a third has had to be placed under restraint—the effect of the unexpected appearance of all her boarders in " flannels." A feature of the last English Derby day, about which tho Methodists are expressing much satisfaction, was an anti-raoing campaign which their church conducted on the course with great spirit, and, they claim, with great result?. They had one of tho largest tents on the Downs, and towards evening, \vl)6n "all the fun of the fair" was at its height, they held services of song and prayer. Many who went in to scoff remained to pray ; and the preaching and singing were so earnest and attractive that, however much out of place the good work seemed to be at tho Derby, tho chiefs of the campaign reckon up many personal victories.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890826.2.31

Bibliographic details

Dickens Mania., Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

Word Count
604

Dickens Mania. Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

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