Letter to John Forster

(12?) October 1863

[Extracted from Forster's Life of Charles Dickens]

I came here last night, to evade my usual day in the week -- in fact to shirk it -- and get back to Gads for five or six consecutive days. My reason is, that I am exceedingly anxious to begin my book. I am bent upon getting to work at it. I want to prepare it for the spring; but I am determined not to begin to publish with less than five numbers done. I see my opening perfectly, with the one main line on which the story is to turn; and if I don't strike while the iron (meaning myself) is hot, I shall drift off again; and have to go through all this uneasiness once more.

I shall have a small new improvement to show you at Gads, which I think you will accept as the crowning ingenuity of the Inimitable.