Credit: Charles Dickens Museum

A large collection of unpublished manuscripts, books, letters and personal items from Charles Dickens’ personal collection will be on display at the Charles Dickens Museum later this year.

The acquisition was announced to mark the writer’s 208th birthday today.

A letter was sent to a friend while he was writing A Christmas Carol. According to The BBC he says: “I have half done the Christmas Book, and am resting for two days before going to Chuzzlewit – that is, if I can call anything rest, with that before me.”

Dickens got rid of most of the letters sent to him, but the museum has hold of the only existing complete exchange between Dickens and a young Danish fan.

In the letters he writes: “Let me have the great gratification of believing, one day, that the correspondence you have opened with me, had done some good, and made a lighter and more cheerful heart than it found in you.”

The collection was acquired from an American who spent 40 years collecting the pieces.

The Charles Dickens Museum bought the collection for £1.8 million. It will be displayed in the museum and online.