Boston: William Cosby and Company, 1842. 1st separate appearance (BAL 8735n; Gimbel B112; Kitton, 1; Tilton, p. 560). , 66 pp. Dickens' speech recorded on pp. 10 - 15. Holmes' 'Song', p. 33. 12mo. 6-5/8" x 4-3/8". Original buff printed wrappers. Custom red cloth chemise, with leather title label to spine. Period pos . Faint tide lines to text upper margin. A respectable VG copy. Case - VG, with two bookplates ['Frank Maier' & 'Thomas Wallace']. Item #27245.2
This dinner was sponsored by a committee of 'Young Men of Boston', who had extended their invitation to the also young, but already famous, author before he left England. The dinner was held in Papanti's Hall, with Josiah Quincy Jr as Chair, who was ably assisted by Oliver Wendell Holmes & Nathan Hale Jr; the young James T. Fields was a guest. Also in attendance was "Josiah Quincy Sr, the president of Harvard, Washington Allston, the poet & artist; George Bancroft, the Historian, & Richard Henry Dana Jr. ... Letters were read from Prescott, Washington Irving, William Ellery Channing, Judge Story, and others, regretting their inability to be there."
In his remarks, Dickens introduced the subject of International Copyright, a topic dear to his heart, if not those in attendance. This was one of the first salvos in a battle that was to rage for decades, and the local papers were not slow to respond, saying Dickens' remarks were in bad taste for a social gathering & charged him with creating a "huge dissonance".
Evidently the [future prominent] Boston publisher Mr Fields thought Nevermind with respect to the copyright issue, for he is known to have written shortly thereafter, "Was there ever such a night before in our staid city?" and he would later become a staunch friend to, and publisher of, the 'Inimitable'. [cf. Johnson. DICKENS, pp. 374-376].
After the dinner, Dickens wrote Forster, "It was a most superb affair and the speaking admirable." Per Fielding, Dickens "left Boston on 5 February, with happier memories of his visit there than of anywhere else in America when four months later he returned to England." [Fielding. SPEECHES Of DICKENS. p. 22].
Scarce. Only 2 cc at auction in the past 25+ years, the last being 1998. This only the second copy we've ever been able to offer in the 20+ years we've been handling Dickens material.