In a letter from Boston, dated 28 November 1867, Charles Dickens, in the course of his second American reading tour, wrote to his younger friend Wilkie Collins:

e excitement in New York about the Readings being represented is quite unprecedented … between ourselves, I have already some 2,000 pounds in hand before opening my lips …1

On 3 December, he added:

A most tremendous success last night. e whole city is perfectly mad about it today, and it is quite impossible that prospects could be more brilliant …2

and again on 31 January 1868, from Philadelphia he wrote:

We are getting now among smaller halls, but the audiences are immense. Marigold here last night (for the rst time) bowled Philadelphia clean over.3