The Uncommercial Traveler and Reprinted Pieces: Edition De Luxe
by Dickens, Charles
A volume from the Edition de Luxe of Dickens's collected works. A thousand sets of this limited edition were printed for subscribers only. Two books in one volume. iv, 350 pp.; iv, 352 pp. 8vo. Original blue cloth hardcover binding, paper spine label, gilt top page ridge. "This volume not only combines the two famous collections of Dickens's contributions to All the Year Round and Household Words but also includes the following items not published in other volumes of this edition -- The Lamplighter, To Be Read at Dusk, Sunday Under Three Heads, Hunted Down, Holiday Romance, and George Silverman's Explanation." "The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round and the Uncommercial Traveller articles would be among his main contributions. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave on the 22 December 1859 to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain. Dickens began by writing seventeen episodes, which were printed in All the Year Round between 28 January and 13 October 1860 and these were published in a single edition in 1861. He sporadically produced eleven more articles between 1863-65 and an expanded edition of the work was printed in 1866. Once more he returned to the persona with some more sketches written 1868-69 and a complete set of these articles was published posthumously in 1875. The work is not markedly different from articles he contributed to Household Words, an earlier journal, or the contents of Sketches by Boz written near the start of his literary career. They display his wit, humour and occasionally his righteous indignation towards the things that he saw. There is simple reportage, such as an investigation into a shipload of Mormons ready to emigrate in Bound for the Great Salt Lake, but more usually it is the inventive and embroidered descriptions of everyday London life: The City of the Absent, City of London Churches, Shy Neighbourhoods. There are character sketches such as Tramps or excuses for Dickens to retell stories he has been told The Italian Prisoner, Chambers. There is also Dickens' characteristic concerns for the conditions of the poor and oppressed Wapping Workhouse, A Small Star in the East or Titbull's Alms-Houses. Of particular interest are the elements of autobiography Dickens includes such as his reminiscences and opinions on his childhood home town, Chatham, under the name Dullborough. He also describes the period of enforced inactivity—A Fly-Leaf in Life—he was forced to endure after a collapse due to a hectic schedule of public readings. In Nurse's Stories he revealed one of the sources of his story telling talents and his love of ghost stories: the terrifying tales his nurse delighted in telling the young author."
Keywords: CLASSICS WORLD LITERATURE ENGLISH HISTORICAL FICTION BRITISH Spine faded. The Nottingham Society, 1909. Very Good/No Jacket. Maddox, W.; Walker, F.. (Inventory #: 2205005)
Literature, American & Military History, General Antiquarian
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