Speech of Charles Dickens, Esq., delivered at the meeting of the Administrative Reform Association, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Wednesday, June 27, 1855. London: Effingham Wilson, 1855
8vo (210 x 135mm.), FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE ("eighteen thundred" on page ), original integral wrappers, later wrappers (annotated "C. Dickens' | Speech June 27, 1855"), some dust-staining
Eckel notes the imprint of M.S. Rickerby at the end, as present here.
During May 1854 the Administrative Reform Association was created as a pressure group. The most important aspect of the movement for administrative reform was the claim that both the army and the government needed to be organized on sound "business principles". Dickens became a member of the Association in May 1855 and was duly asked whether he would address the first meeting at Drury Lane Theatre. It was the first political meeting Dickens had attended. Dickens wrote to John Forster on 29 June stating "I should be now reproaching myself if I had not gone to the meeting, and, having been, I am very glad".
The Times reported that Dickens had been "most warmly received". It was elsewhere reported that Dickens delivered his parallel between Parliament and the old woman with her pig "with a jump in the voice and an archness of expression" of the "consummate actor" (see The Letters of Charles Dickens, volume 7, pp.662-63).
Eckel, p. 235; Gimbel B237
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