The American publisher James Fields had become well acquainted with Charles Dickens during the latter’s second visit to America.  Fields entertained Dickens at a dinner party, accompanied him on his tour, and later visited him in London.  They became close friends.  Through family connections Kate Fields came to know Dickens well and became his ardent admirer. 

Kate Fields went on a series of lecture tours in Britain and America.  The announcement and program exhibited here are for her performances at Union Square Hall in San Francisco on November 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th, 1887.  The program included her lecture on Dickens as an actor and dramatist, as well as on his being a novelist and poet.  Fields sang “Hymn of the Wiltshire Laborers,” written by Dickens. 

Her San Francisco tour had rave reviews.  The critic George Lewes said she could make a fortune on the stage.  Mrs. Charles Kean, wife of the famous actor, gave her all of her husband’s cherished selections for recitation.  The New York Times said that Dickens himself would be charmed to hear her musical selections.