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Dickens, Alfred D'Orsay (1845–1912)

The many friends of Mr Alfred Tennyson Dickens, son of the famous novelist Charles Dickens, will learn with deep regret of his death in America, news of which was cabled from New York yesterday morning to his manager in Melbourne, Messrs J. and N. Tait who about 18 months ago arranged for Mr. Dickens to make a tour of England and America. Mr. Dickens's lectures on his father's life and works, which were first given in Melbourne, met with great success in England. But it was from America that fine results were expected, and when Mr. Dickens landed in New York early in October he was most enthusiatically welcomed, President Taft and other distinguished American citizens greeting him with invitations. In a recent letter received from Mr Dickens by his managers in which he referred to the great kindness being shown to him by the American people, he stated that he had solemnly contracted with them that his visit to America was in the nature of a lecture tour only, and that he would allow no invitations to interfere with his appearances, and not once from the very inception of the tour, did Mr Dickens disappoint an audience. The great interest taken in his American tour can be gathered from the fact that fees amounting to as much as £300 were paid for a single lecture, and it is greatly to be regretted that, just as he was meeting with long-deferred success, he should not live to reap the benefits of his triumphs.

Mr Dickens was in his 66th year. He came to Australia from England in the early sixties in company with his brother, Mr. Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens, their father having a desire that they should enter into pastoral life. Mr. Edward Dickens subsequently became a member of the New South Wales Parliament. For about 40 years prior to his departure for England Mr Alfred Dickens had resided continuously in Victoria, some years of that period being spent in the Hamilton district where he was in business as a stock and station agent, as a member of the firm of Bree, Dickens, and Co. of Hamilton, but in later years after he returned to Melbourne he had a good many misfortunes to face, Mr Dickens was twice married and his second wife and two daughters of his first marriage who are residing in Melbourne, survive him.

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Citation details

'Dickens, Alfred D'Orsay (1845–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dickens-alfred-dorsay-26557/text34319, accessed 24 November 2017.

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