This is an admission ticket for a reading by Charles Dickens. The bill lists three scenes adapted from various novels and short stories - The Poor Traveller, Boots at the Holly Tree and Mrs Gamp – performed over two hours. Priced at five shillings for a stalls seat, this particular ticket would have only been affordable for the middle classes. Five shillings is the equivalent of approximately £30 today – which is not dissimilar from the price we would pay for a theatre ticket.
Dickens’s public readings were incredibly popular; he made more money from them than from his published works.