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    DICKENS, Charles. The Personal History of David Copperfield. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1850 courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2012. (Click on image to enlarge).

    The letter accompanying the book, courtesy Christie's Images 2012. (Click to enlarge).

    Charles Dickens’s personal copy of David Copperfield will come up at Christie’s in London on June 13.  Dickens (1812-1870) penned the novel in 1850, and it is known to have been his favourite.  It is inscribed to Brookes of Sheffield and was sent to the knife and tool manufacturer in May of 1851.  Dickens had included a character in David Copperfield with the similar name of ‘Brooks of Sheffield’; in a letter dated 25 April 1851 Dickens wrote to the manufacturer telling them that the introduction of the name into the book was pure coincidence. Having received a gift of a case of cutlery from Brooks of Sheffield, Dickens presented them with his own copy of the book to counteract the common superstition that if a knife is given as a gift, the relationship of the giver and recipient will be severed.

    The book is accompanied by an autographed letter from Dickens presenting the copy to Messrs Brookes in which he apologises for the delay in their receiving the gift. Over the past 35 years only two presentation copies of David Copperfield have been seen at auction; in comparison with a copy of the book which has simply been signed by the author, presentation copies are more valuable as the author has gone to the trouble and expense of giving the book to someone.  It is expected to make between £30,000-50,000.

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