“The Two Letters (Charlie Brooks; Nellie Dare)”


Charlie writes that he wishes to break off the engagement, saying it would never work, and asks for his ring back. (Nellie) returns ring, photos, etc. She asks him to tell his new girl that he once gave another his ring. She claims she burned his letters


Although this is not, to my knowledge, based on an actual incident, things like this were in fact common in the nineteenth century. In fact, it happened to none other than Robert Peary, the future "discoverer" of the North Pole. (For Peary and his almost certainly false polar claim, see "Hurrah for Baffin's Bay"). According tto Robert M. Bryce, _Cook & Peary: The Polar Controversy, Resolved_, Stackpole, 1997, p. 18, "On October 7, 1879, [Peary] asked [his fiancee] for his release [apparently on the basis that they were living in different cities and he had no intention to return]. In return he received a letter asking for an explanation, and when he had given it, another, reproachful in tone. It closed with the remark that he considered their correspondence at an end, and she requested that if Bert [Peary] had anything further to say, he should address it to her father. In December she returned all of his letters, and he hers, along with her ring." - RBW


  • Leo Boswell and Elzie Floyd, "Nellie Dare" (Columbia 15150-D, 1927)
  • Vernon Dalhart, "Nellie Dare and Charlie Brooks" (Brunswick 143) (Victor 20058, 1926)
  • Bradley Kincaid, "Charlie Brooks" (Superior 2788, 1932)
  • Holland Puckett, "Charles A. Brooks" (Gennett 6163/Herwin 75556 [as by Robert Howell], 1927)


  1. Randolph 735, "Charlie Brooks" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 486-489, "Charley Brooke" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 735A)
  3. Roud #3534
  4. BI, R735


Alternate titles: “Ella Dare”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (recording, Vernon Dalhart)
Keywords: betrayal love request
Found in: US(So)