Letter to John Forster

29 July 1864

[Extracted from Forster's Life of Charles Dickens]

Although I have not been wanting in industry, I have been wanting in invention, and have fallen back with the book. Looming large before me is the Christmas work, and I can hardly hope to do it without losing a number of Our Friend. I have very nearly lost one already, and two would take one half of my whole advance. This week I have been very unwell; am still out of sorts and, as I know from two days' slow experience, have a very mountain to climb before I shall see the open country of my work.