Archive of Dickens & Tennyson Ephemera at Auction

by Rebecca Rego Barry

A small but interesting archive of material relating to Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Dickens has turned up at London-based Chiswick Auctions, consigned by a distant relation of the Ellis family. The product of that family’s long-term association with the two authors, the collection contains correspondence, envelopes, clipped autographs, stereoscopic photographs, a rare program pamphlet (1868) produced for a series of Dickens’ “Farewell Readings,” and a pencil drawing of 48 Doughty Street by a member of the Tennyson family, inscribed: “Home of Charles Dickens…. from Wilderness Aug 3rd 1870,” among other notable pieces.



Charles Ellis was a wine merchant with literary aspirations. According to a footnote in The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1987), where an October 1853 letter from the author to Ellis is recorded, “For many years [Ellis] purveyed wines to Dickens, vastly more knowledgeable and discriminating than Tennyson, but, himself a poet (Richmond and Other Poems, 1845), he seems … to have presented them to Tennyson, perhaps annually, as a sort of oblation.” Indeed another letter from Tennyson, written in 1866, thanks Ellis “for your Christmas gift of choice wines.”



The personal and longstanding connection between the correspondents may well be enough to encourage bidders toward the £4,000-6,000 ($5,000-7,400) estimate on Wednesday.


Images courtesy of Chiswick Auctions.

Browse related collectible books:

Alfred Lord Tennyson works & ephemera

Charles Dickens works & ephemera

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Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books.

You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie’s Pocket.

This entry was written by and posted on January 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm, filed under Rare Finds and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink

One Response to “Archive of Dickens & Tennyson Ephemera at Auction”

  1. Deborah

    The pencil sketch of Dickens home is not 48 Doughty Street. It looks like his home in Rochester, Gadshill Place.


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