Printed invitation to the 'Boz Ball' along with a ticket to a literary dinner held the next week.

DICKENS Charles (1842.)


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Single sheet, 8vo., printed on one side only. Small ticket on coated paper printed in black and white. N.p.

A small broadside invitation to the ‘Boz Ball’ held on the 14th of February, Dickens’ first social engagement in New York City and the grandest occasion of his first American tour, along with a ticket to a dinner held in Dickens’ honour on the 18th of February by a number of American literary figures including Washington Irving and attended by 800 people, mostly publishers and journalists.

Dickens’ first visit to the United States of America began on January 22nd and the literary citizens of New York watched jealously as Bostonian admirers such as Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast, wined and dined the great British author. Determined to outdo their northern rivals a committee of society figures was formed and a grand event arranged, although not without significant debate as to whether this should be a ball or a dinner, whether alcohol should be served and especially whether invitations should be extended to ladies. The venue was chosen as the Park Theatre, the largest gathering space in New York, and 3,000 tickets were sold at $5 each; Dickens recalled the event as a great success, ‘three thousand people present in full dress’ and remembered dancing until ‘being no longer able to stand.’ The success was rather dampened, however, by an attempt shortly afterwards by the managers of the Park Theatre to repeat the ball with tickets sold at half the price, only to find that when the night arrived Dickens reported he was unwell and unable to attend; fearing angry reprisals from guests who had already purchased tickets, the managers demanded Dickens provide a certificate from his physician to authenticate his illness. Dickens was understandably outraged at this treatment and subsequently refused all further invitations to public events held in his honour during the remainder of his American tour.

Stock Code: 225005

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