To G. H. Lewes, 14 December 1839

Period: 
1837-1840

To G. H. LEWES,1 14 DECEMBER 1839

MS Shaun Springer.

1 Devonshire Terrace

York Gate, Regents Park.

December 14th. 1839.

My Dear Sir

I think it very unlikely that the Shakespeare Club2 will be disposed to receive any new Members, as they have some reason to repent themselves of their past errors in that respect, and will probably for a time run into the opposite extreme. Even if they are disposed to elect, I have determined for various cogent reasons not to propose. But, should they trawl beyond certain selections from their old brethren, I shall take care to make your wish known to the Club generally, or to whatever committee or sub committee may regulate its proceedings – which are at present unfathomable.3

G. H. Lewes Esquire

Very truly Yours

 CHARLES DICKENS

  • 1. George Henry Lewes (1817-78; Dictionary of National Biography), writer and critic: see Pilgrim Letters 1, p. 402n and Rosemary Ashton, G. H. Lewes: A Life, 1991.
  • 2. The Shakespeare Club met at the Piazza Coffee House, Covent Garden; CD and Forster were members and Frank Stone was Hon. Secretary: see Marcus Stone’s account of the Club in D, XLI (1944-5), 40-1. The Club’s aim was “to combine intellectual with social enjoyment”: see Pilgrim Letters 1, p. 392n.
  • 3. Founded in 1838, the Club had last met on 7 December 1839, when it was broken up by Forster’s high-handed behaviour: see Pilgrim Letters 1, p. 611n; hence CD’s uncertainty of its future activities.