Photograph of Baroness Burdett Coutts.  This item is mounted adjacent to a third person letter from Coutts, to whom Martin Chuzzlewit was dedicated.  The Baroness had inherited immense wealth and decided that she would devote her life to helping those less fortunate.  She chose the young novelist Dickens as the one to help guide her in these good works.  Dickens's ability to advise the Baroness resulted first-hand from his frequent walks late at night, sometimes all night, through the seamy, crime-ridden parts of London.  He walked alone, or occasionally with Wilkie Collins.  His celebrity enabled him to accompany the Detective Police in their attempts to stop, or solve crimes in the London underworld.  Dickens took the Baroness Coutts on a tour of the slums in the East End of London, and the Baroness financed the construction of a large housing project for the poor.  Dickens showed her the plight of a large number of London prostitutes, and the Baroness established a home for “fallen women.”  These, and many other charitable endeavors, earned her a burial place in Westminster Abbey.  On the personal side, she also became a close friend and confidant of Dickens.  She assisted several of Dickens's sons by paying for their education.  She also helped them find meaningful employment.  The Baroness also attempted, unsuccessfully, to reconcile Dickens and Catherine during their marital difficulties.