• St. Mary's Crescent

    Royal Leamington

    Warwickshire CV31 1JL

    Internet: cdickens@rmplc.com.uk

     

    My Dear Young Friends,

          In entrusting this task to me, Mr. Holloway and his associates honour me. It is a task which can be performed ill. In my day it was too often. But there is no task more noble than the forming of young minds, no calling more worthy than the calling of those who undertake it. Add to the glory of the calling access to mysteries scarcely to be fathomed, and you have privilege indeed. Not even the electric telegraph can speak across continents and oceans as can the device now put into your hands and mine. Our words reach each other with the speed of light itself. As Joe Gargery might say, "What larks!"

    My own schooling was haphazard and intermittent, thanks to difficulties endured by my father, even now painful to speak of.

    But this brand new, galloping, highly varnished means of instruction can scarcely be diverted or overturned in the same way, and will delight the fancies of young people beyond conception, I stake my life upon it. To say no more, the whining school boy need no longer creep like a snail unwillingly to school, or at any rate to a particular class. Nor indeed need his sister student. The computing machine is there to instruct whenever there are fingers to operate it.

          Questions, I grant you, might be asked about my role in this venture. I allude to the fact that I was born in Portsea, England,in the year 1812, and must thus be supposed to have achieved a state of venerability rare and wonderful. Dwell, I beg you, on the rarity and wonder. Postpone questions. Suspend disbelief. There will be time enough and place enough for disbelief in the future. For now, let fancy be your friend. And think of me. Do not condemn me to the dismal role of dead author.

                                                         Ever Faithfully Yours,

                                                         Charles Dickens