A Dickensian Collection Returns Home

The Standard reports:

A huge “treasure trove” is being brought to the Charles Dickens Museum after a £1.8 million deal struck with the owner of the world’s largest private collection.

Among the more than 300 items are previously unseen letters and original artwork from books such as Oliver Twist. Cindy Sughrue, the director of the museum, which is based in Doughty Street, said the haul was a “once in a generation” offer.

It took three years to organise after they were first approached by the American owner. She said the man, who developed an interest in Dickens after reading Oliver Twist as a boy, came from “fairly humble beginnings but became a successful businessman and the first thing he bought was a first edition of Oliver Twist”.

The collection was built up over four decades.

Among the items they chose to bring back to London were jewellery belonging to Dickens, 25 books from his own library and letters covering everything from his travels over “a sea of ice” in Switzerland to his instructions for a dinner party where guests were to have “a good supply of champagne” but the gin was to be kept “in ice under the table” just for him and a close friend.

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