Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Charles Dickens Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Dec 1996

Biographical History

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was an English novelist, author of Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, A Christmas Carol and other novels and short stories. His works are so popular that they have never gone out of print.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Dickens Letters consist of five letters of the English novelist and author. Recipients are Wilkie Collins, Peter Cunningham, James T. Fields, Anthony Trollope, and possibly a Mrs. Godfrey.

The earliest letter, about 700 words, is to "My Dear Madam" (possibly Mrs. Godfrey), and dated from Elm Cottage, Petersham. The letter, together with a mounted photograph, autograph, and calligraphic transcription is bound in an octavo full green levant morocco volune with gilt edges by Sangorski and Sutcliff. The title page reads:

Concerning the religious education of children in a letter to a lady by Dickens, July 25th, 1839

In part, Dickens writes:

I do most decidedly object, and have a most invincible and powerful repugnance to that frequent reference to the Almighty in small matters, which so many excellent persons consider necessary in the education of children. I think it monstrous to hold the source of inconceivable mercy and goodness perpetually up to them as an avenging and wrathful God who -- making them in His wisdom children before they are men and women -- is to punish them awfully for every little venial offense which is almost a necessary part of that stage of life.

Arrangement of the Collection



Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889.
Cunningham, Peter, 1816-1869.
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881.
Trollope, Anthony, 1815-1882.


English literature.
Religious education of children.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Dickens Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Sol Feinstone, Walter Chrysler.

Table of Contents