Some firsts are a bit less celebratory than others

This post was written by Friday blogger Annie Reid.

A single lock of hair, “snipped from Charles Dickens’ corpse,” was sold for 3210 pounds when it went up for auction at Bonham’s in London this week:

…very few of his personal belongings have survived as long as his success because Georgina Hogarth, his housekeeper and sister-in-law, gave away or sold many of his relics.

However, the lock of dark brown-coloured hair went under the hammer accompanied by a note of authentication, signed by Hogarth, which read: “I certify this lock of hair to be that of my brother-in-law Charles Dickens.”

Bonhams spokeswoman Josephine Olley said: “We were very pleased with that. Locks of hair don’t come up for sale that often.”

Is it just me, or doesn’t this seem a bit familiar?:

Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it, and having unfastened a great many knots, dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff.

‘What do you call this?’ said Joe. ‘Bed-curtains?’

‘Ah.’ returned the woman, laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms. ‘Bed-curtains!’

‘You don’t mean to say you took them down, rings and all, with him lying there?’ said Joe.

‘Yes I do,’ replied the woman. ‘Why not?’

‘You were born to make your fortune,’ said Joe, ‘and you’ll certainly do it.’

‘Ah! you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache; but you won’t find a hole in it, nor a threadbare place. It’s the best he had, and a fine one too. They’d have wasted it, if it hadn’t been for me.’

‘What do you call wasting of it?’ asked old Joe.

‘Putting it on him to be buried in, to be sure” replied the woman with a laugh….

Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. As they sat grouped about their spoil, in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp, he viewed them with a detestation and disgust, which could hardly have been greater, though they demons, marketing the corpse itself.


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