To Fanny Mitchell, 7 June 1866

ALS to Fanny Mitchell about a dinner in Great Stanhope Street and her reception of his book Armadale. Dated [Thursday] 7 June [1866]. Armadale was published on 15 May 1866. Wilkie lived at 9 Melcombe Place from 1864 to 1867. Single sheet of laid paper, no watermark, 178x227mm, folded, integral blank. Embossed device upper left.

The Public Face of Wilkie Collins II 38

9. Melcombe Place
June 7th
Dear Mrs Mitchell,
It is 
very kind of you to
give “Armadale” a 
place on your 
I am unfortunately 
already engaged to 
dinner on Sunday 
-- or I should have 
been delighted to dine 


in Great Stanhope Street.

I hope early next week

to be able to call. 

I have been very little 

in London since I 

last had the pleasure 

of seeing you.
Very truly yours

Wilkie Collins

Fanny Mitchell was the wife of Alexander Mitchell the MP for Berwick-on-Tweed. They lived at 6 Great Stanhope Street in 1866. The road is now called Stanhope Gate and runs between South Audley Street and Park Lane. One other letter to Mrs Mitchell is known, again about a dinner engagement at Great Stanhope Street, possibly written three weeks after this one. 

Wilkie went for a short break to Paris for a break after the long struggle of writing Armadale, which he had only finished on 12 April after three years' work. In June he was turning it into a play which he had printed merely to keep his copyright and stop others cashing in on it. In fact, it was never performed on stage in this form. Wilkie later adapted it under the title Miss Gwilt which had its premiere nearly nine years later in Liverpool on 9 December 1875.

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