English novelist (1812-1870). Autograph letter signed Charles Dickens". Devonshire Terrace. 8vo. 2 pp. Laid-down, staining from an old mount at the edge.
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To the composer and performer John L. Hatton, regretting that he has "not the least knowledge of any musical person in America"; adding that he is happy offering testimony to his "merits as an accomplished musician and composer, and as one whom he would much desire to see employed at home here in the lucrative exercise of his knowledge and abilities, as to have no leisure for 'fresh fields and pastures new'". Dickens writes a testimonial on behalf of the composer and performer John Liptrot Hatton, who was about to undertake a tour of the United States: 'In August 1848 [Hatton] first visited America, remaining there until the spring of 1850, when he returned in order to accompany Sims Reeves on a tour; he went again to America in the following September.
His playing and singing were alike admired, and he introduced some of Mendelssohn's music to the Boston public. At no time was he troubled by artistic scruples, and it was often uncertain whether the place allotted to him in the programme would be occupied by one of Bach's fugues or by a comic song of his own composition. It is said that his hearers were delighted with a song called "The Sleigh Ride," in the course of which he produced "realistic" effects by means of bells tied to his leg' (J. A. F. Maitland, DNB). See the Pilgrim edition of The Letters of Charles Dickens, volume 5, 1981, p. 382..