To Miss Frith, 27 December 1870

ALS to Miss Frith, Tuesday 27 December 1870. Single sheet of cream laid paper, 178x224mm,  watermarked ORIGINAL TURKEY MILL 1870, folded, integral blank. Two small puncture (staple?) holes not affecting text. Traces of album mounting on blank verso. It was previously tipped in to c1878 Harper's edition of The Moonstone (now removed), some traces of end paper on blank verso and shadow of bookplate.

The Pubic Face of Wilkie Collins II 226-227

[90 Gloucester Place
Portman Square. W.]

Tuesday December 27th 1870

My dear Miss Frith

Many thanks for your 
kind note. Even 
at this festive season 
when the Plague of 
Plum pudding extends 
its ravages from 
end to end of the 
land, and lays the 
national digestion 
prostrate at the feet 
of Christmas, a 
promise made to your 
Mama is a sacred 
promise in my 
estimation. I 
had planned to give 
up eating and 
drinking until the 
return of Spring -
but I will wait to 
carry out my intention 


until after Thursday 
next - on which day 
(at 7 o'clock) I shall 
be delighted to attend 
Pembridge Villas, and 
redeem my pledge.

Believe me

Vy truly yours

Wilkie Collins 


Miss Frith was one of the daughters of the artist William Powell Frith, a lifelong friend of Wilkie's. Which one is not clear. But he may have sent her a photograph after the Christmas festivities - The Public Face of Wilkie Collins II 227

W P Frith lived at 7 Pembridge Villas in Bayswater

Wilkie's dislike of Christmas crops up frequently within his letters. In others he refers to "This awful Christmas time." "the filthy Christmas festivities" "the most hateful of English seasons" and "the season devoted to prodigious eating and drinking". This recently discovered letter confirms those views. 

All material on these pages is Paul Lewis 1997-2005