Fund to ‘help save the Charles Dickens Coventry letter’ launched

A group of Coventry residents have started a fundraiser to raise money to buy a letter written by Charles Dickens about a Christmas he spent in the city.

If successful, the Charlotte Observer reports, they aim to donate it to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

It will be sold at Christies on 15 December 2021.

The letter is a unique part of Coventry’s history, heritage, and culture by one of the greatest writers of all time.

Charles Dickens came to Coventry just before Christmas on 15 December 1857 to give a public reading of A Christmas Carol.

He had been invited by the Coventry MP Sir Joseph Paxton.

He performed at the Corn Exchange in Hereford Street (a building opposite the old Post Office).

He did this to raise money for the Coventry Institute which was founded to help working-class people study literature and science and raised £50.

The following Christmastime, on 4 December 1858, Charles Dickens returned to Coventry to attend a dinner that had been organised to thank him for raising money for the working-class people of Coventry the previous year.

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