Two Issues of "The Standard" Where Dickens Gives Impression of Public Execution

DICKENS, Charles.


London: Charles Baldwin, 1849.

London: Nov. 16, 1849 and Nov. 18, 1849. Two issues. (Measures 17 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches). Both issues discuss Dickens response and remarks to a public execution that he had witnessed known as the "Bermondsey Horror." This was first published in the London Times on Nov. 13, 1849.

The "Bermondsey Horror" was about a Swiss domestic servant by the name of Marie Manning who was convicted with her husband of the murder of her lover.

Contains Dickens’s reactions to the dual public execution of the Mannings. A married couple accused of killing Mrs. Manning’s young lover, the Mannings were hanged in public outside Horsemonger Lane Gaol. Dickens had gone there the night before, waiting overnight expressly in order to watch the hanging and note the crowd’s reaction. Though the letter expresses strong disapproval at public spectacles such as this execution, at the same time it reveals Dickens’s morbid curiosity and excitement at the event.

It was here that Dickens wrote "I believe that a sight so inconceivably awful as the wickedness and levity of the immense crowd collected at that execution this morning could be imagined by no man, and could be presented in no heathen land under the sun." He later based one of his characters—Mademoiselle Hortense, Lady Dedlock's maid in Bleak House.

Newspapers have a bit of browning to the edges, as expected. Overall, a very good piece of Dickens history.

Eckel, p. 227

HBS 67227.


Price: $750.00

Item #67227

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