The Amusements of the People and Other Papers: Reports, Essays, and Reviews, 1834-51

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Ohio State University Press, 1996 - Poetry - 408 pages
This new volume of the first-ever annotated edition of Dickens' journalism begins with examples of his work (never before collected) as a young reporter for the great Liberal paper The Morning Chronicle - reports of grand public ceremonials and rowdy elections as well as highly entertaining theatre reviews, all marked by touches of what we now think of as quintessentially Dickensian humor.
Between 1837 and 1849 Dickens wrote, alongside his hugely successful novels, many articles and reviews. They were published anonymously in the famous Radical weekly The Examiner, and a generous selection of them is presented here. Whether the subject be a botched attempt to put an end to the West African slave trade, crime statistics, ghosts, panoramas, the horrors of a parish baby-farm, or outdated royal ceremonial, Dickens writes here with all the linguistic verve and passionate energy characteristic of his great novels.
This is equally true of the pieces he began writing on a weekly basis for his own journal Household Words from 1850 onwards. This volume covers the first eighteen months of the paper's existence; we find Dickens celebrating such things as cheap theatres and the new detective police, satirising the follies and ineptitude of politicians, campaigning for workhouse reform and for more humane treatment of animals driven to slaughter, lambasting Pre-Raphaelite painting, and generally keeping a finger of genius on the pulse of what he called "the moving age". For the Dickens reader there are innumerable fascinating links to be made between all this remarkable journalism and the great novels; while for all those more widely interested in the social and cultural history of early Victorian England this volume offers truly a wealth of material.

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The amusements of the people and other papers: reports, essays, and reviews, 1834-51

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This claims to be the "first ever annotated edition of Dickens's journalism." The book combines his early news stories for The Morning Chronicle and the anonymous material he published in The Examiner ... Read full review


Grand Colosseum Fête
The Agricultural Interest
Report on the Fire at Hatfield House

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About the author (1996)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

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