Autograph note signed "Charles Dickens". Ink manuscript on one sheet of watermarked blue stationary paper, laid down to a second sheet. The note with a single horizontal fold is otherwise in very good condition.
A backstage pass from one of Dickens' amateur theatrical productions, the full text reading: "Nobody to pass except the gentlemen who play and / Mr. Wilson / Mr. Jerrold's party / Mr. Charles Dickens' party of ladies. / Charles Dickens". An obsessive devotee of the theatre, Dickens was drawn to the stage at a young age, becoming an early member of the Garrick Club. It was, however, following his move to Tavistock House in 1851, where he wrote Bleak House (1852–53), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1856), that he found the time to indulge his love of amateur theatricals, and the period from which the present note likely dates. One of those it names, Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857), was a close friend of Dickens, who shared his theatrical passions. Indeed, it is possible that the note pertains to the 1851 performance of Edward Bulwer's comedy "Not So Bad as We Seem", in which they both starred together alongside other famous literary figures including Wilkie Collins. The performance, put on in aid of the Literary Guild, was attended by Queen Victoria, who thought it "full of cleverness, though rather too long". An unusual and fun piece of Dickensiana.
Stock code: 18954