|Georgina Hogarth was Dickens's sister-in-law and housekeeper and knew Collins well both as a friend and, after Charles Collins married Dickens's daughter Kate, a relative. After Dickens's death Wilkie gave her a lot of advice and help when she and her sister published a selection of Dickens's letters. This short passage in a letter to an American friend - who did know Collins - has never been published.
“…Wilkie Collins is going to America in September – you shall see him no doubt – I have but the slightest idea whether he is likely to be successful or not – I have heard he is to read but I cannot imagine his reading well. He seems to me to have no physical qualification for it – I forget whether you know him? He is agreeable and easy to get on with – and he has many fine qualities but he has an unusual amount of conceit and self-satisfaction – and I do not think any one can think Wilkie Collins a greater man than Wilkie Collins thinks himself…”
Georgina Hogarth to Annie Fields, 30 August 1873. Unpublished manuscript, Huntington Library, California.
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