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Our School

11/10/1851

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Author Charles Dickens
Genres Prose: Autobiography; Biography; Memoirs; Obituary; Anecdotes i
Prose: Leading Article i
Subjects Education—Great Britain; Universities and Colleges; Schools
Railroads
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For two years (1824–6) Dickens attended William Jones's graciously named school, Wellington House Classical and Commercial Academy, in the Hampstead Road. The school was a separate building from the main house and was 'sliced off' when a deep railway cutting needed to be made for the London and North Western Railway, running north from Euston Square. Dickens had already drawn on his memories of Jones, his ignorance, his truckling to wealth, and his sadistic pleasure in caning little boys, in his portrait of Mr Creakle and Salem House in David Copperfield (Mr Mell in the same novel must have been drawn from the gentle, exploted usher with his forlorn musical instrument); and condemned Jones more directly six years after writing 'Our School' in a speech on behalf of the Warehousemen and Clerks' School.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 473

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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Sucking Pigs

8/11/1851

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Author Charles Dickens
Genres Prose: Essay i
Prose: Leading Article i
Subjects Charity; Philanthropists; Philanthropists—Fiction; Benevolence
Fashion; Fashion History; Clothing and Dress; Millinery; Textile Crafts; Textile Design; Cotton; Cotton Manufacture
Gender Identity; Women; Men; Femininity; Masculinity
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'It is one of the main vices of this time,' Dickens wrote in 1852, 'to ride objects to Death through mud and mire...to neglect private duties associated with no particular excitement, for lifeless and soulless public hullabaloo with a great deal of excitement, and thus seriously to damage the objects taken up (often very good in themselves)...' (Pilgrim, Vol. VI, p. 825). He had attacked this tendency in 'Whole Hogs' [...] and had, as he notes here, offended some HW readers thereby – he told Wills on 12 October that he believed a 500 drop in circulation 'had something to do with' Temperance subscribers (Pilgrim, Vol. VI, p. 519). The Bloomer campaign for female dress reform clearly seemed to him a particularly noteworthy example of 'Whole Hoggism'. 

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Authors Charles Dickens
Henry Morley
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Charity; Philanthropists; Philanthropists—Fiction; Benevolence
Education—Great Britain; Universities and Colleges; Schools
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 668

Dickens probably rewrote or added extensively to portions of the following section of 'A Free (and Easy) School': from 'You put on the coat' (p. 169) to 'sombre day outside' (p. 172).
Dickens may also have retouched the following passage: from 'The afternoon has waned' (p. 173) to the conclusion. He may, for example, have added the last sentence.
In addition, Dickens seems to have cut and otherwise edited the paper.
Morley reprinted this essay, with many changes, in Gossip (1857). His chief modification was to remove two long passages - from 'On each side' to 'distant places' (p. 170), and from 'We have not yet passed' (p. 170) to 'by the church again' (p. 171) - which were probably by, or largely by, Dickens. He also removed smaller interpolations by Dickens (such as the Fortunatus sentence, p. 169), but seems to have left still other additions by Dickens untouched. The attributions given in the first three paragraphs above take into account the evidence of Gossip.
The endowed grammar school that Morley visited was located in Wood Street, High Barnet. Describing the visit to his fiancee, Morley wrote: 'I've done the paper well. It does not contain an atom of invention - except names, of course - everything I describe I saw; every syllable of talk, every minute incident is literally true' (Solly, The Life of Henry Morley, p. 198). The article had unexpected ramifications; see note to 'Chips: A Free (and Easy) School.'

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Chip: Homeopathy

15/11/1851

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: Digest; Review i
Subject Life Sciences (Physiology / Biology / Immunology / Medicine / Pharmacology / Anatomy / Ecology)
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 470

John Epps, Homeopathy and Its Principles Explained (1850).

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Authors Charles Dickens
Henry Morley
Eustace Clare Grenville Murray
Genres Cross-genre i
Prose: Essay i
Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Travel-writing i
Subjects Europe—Description and Travel
Europe—Military Policy
Europe—Politics and Government
Social classes; Class distinctions; Aristocracy (Social Class); Aristocracy (Social Class)—Fiction; Middle Class; Working Class; Servants;
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 534

Dickens probably wrote the following portion of 'A Black Eagle in a Bad Way': from the beginning to 'Black Eagle of Austria' (p. 193).
Dickens may also have added briefly to the following passages: from 'The Court of Vienna' to 'noble pair' (p. 193); the concluding paragraph (p. 195).
Dickens' chief contribution to this piece seems to have been editorial - cutting, tightening, smoothing, and emending - a task which was probably a considerable one, for otherwise the Office Book would not have listed him as a joint author.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 486

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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My Uncle

6/12/1851

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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Cross-genre i
Prose: Essay i
Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Short Fiction i
Subjects Great Britain—Social Conditions—Nineteenth Century
Money; Finance; Banking; Investments; Taxation; Insurance; Debt; Inheritance and Succession
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 548

Dickens probably wrote the following portion of 'My Uncle': from 'My Uncle's office' (p. 243) to 'like tigresses' (p. 244).
Dickens may also have added a few details to the following passage: from the opening to 'Tao-Kwang' (p. 241).
In addition, Dickens seems to have added touches to other passages by Wills. For example, he probably interpolated such bits as the elaborate and suddenly intruded description of Phelim O'Shea's coat (from 'a loose blue' to 'the centre,' p. 42). For a discussion of the Dickens-Wills attributions, see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office'.
Pawnshops, their habitues, and their little dramas were subjects that fascinated Dickens and that he often wrote about. As early as 30 June 1835, in 'The Pawnbroker's Shop' - reprinted in Sketches by Boz (1836) - he developed such a scene at length. In his share of the piece below, Dickens dwells on many of the same details and pretences, but now his attitude is more sympathetic.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: Editorial i
Subjects Education—Great Britain; Universities and Colleges; Schools
Literature; Writing; Authorship; Reading; Books; Poetry; Storytelling; Letter Writing
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 548

'Chips: A Free (and Easy) School' is solely by Dickens.
The paper referred to below, 'A Free (and Easy) School,' by Dickens and Henry Morley, appeared in Household Words on 15 November 1851 (see p. 169).
According to Morley, the 'Chip' owed its origin to a strange coincidence. The master of the school turned out to be one of Dickens' old tailors. Morley describes what happened:

Poor Mr. C. [the tailor-schoolmaster] has been several times to Dickens, having been, utterly to my surprise, almost 'snuffed out by an article.' Trustees had been down upon him, and parents were writing to remove their sons. A note from Dickens, with this paragraph ['Chips: A Free (and Easy) School'], have set him right again - as nobody could wish to do him injury. The poor fellow appealed simply for pity - said every word was true, and was, said Dickens, 'quite awe-struck at the cleverness of the young man.' ...
Dickens imitated him, not mockingly - but you know his talent for mimicry - and he expressed quite touchingly the poor fellow's appeal, to which, of course, he had responded generously [Solly, The Life of Henry Morley, p.198].

Six years later, when Morley reprinted 'A Free (and Easy) School' in Gossip he completely changed the physical description of the schoolmaster and completely altered the exterior of the school.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 641

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Christmas; New Year; Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations
Life Sciences (Physiology / Biology / Immunology / Medicine / Pharmacology / Anatomy / Ecology)
Medical care; Nursing; Hospitals; Hospital Care; Surgery; Medicine; Physicians
Psychology; Psychiatry; Mental Health; Mind-Body Relations (Metaphysics)
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Dickens wrote the following portions of 'A Curious Dance Round a Curious Tree': from 'How came I' (p. 385) to 'followed my leader' (p. 386); from 'It was playing' (p. 387) to the conclusion.
Dickens seems also to have gone over the remainder of the piece with great care, to have altered it substantially, and to have added many touches and some longer passages. For example, he probably interpolated the phrases within dashes in the two opening paragraphs, and he very likely wrote or re-wrote the clauses which introduce his first major contribution.
In 1860, St. Luke's. Hospital for the insane, with Dickens' permission, re-printed 'A Curious Dance Round a Curious Tree' as a promotional pamphlet. This pamphlet, like the similar reissue of 'Drooping Buds' (see note to 'Drooping Buds'), is extremely rare. But the 'Curious Dance' pamphlet has a distinction which the 'Drooping Buds' pamphlet lacks; its wrapper is imprinted, 'By Charles Dickens.' This attribution is reiterated within the pamphlet. At the conclusion of the essay the pamphlet comments on the piece, repeatedly refers to it as by Dickens, states that it is reprinted by permission of 'the Author,' and never hints at a second author. After Dickens' death, this attribution was frequently denied, and the article - which Wills had republished in Old Leaves (see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office') as a collaborative piece, and which the Contributors' Book listed as by Dickens and Wills - was claimed entirely for Wills. 'A Curious Dance' is, however, primarily by Dickens. This may be stated categorically, for the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library owns a ten-page manuscript in Dickens' hand comprising well over half the text - a share which may not represent all that Dickens wrote, and which of course does not include the segments he added in proof. The Berg manuscript has been followed, however, in determining Dickens' contribution to 'A Curious Dance' (see first paragraph above).
The printed text of Dickens' contribution to 'A Curious Dance' is almost identical to the text which emerges from his heavily canceled and interlineated manuscript. The postmanuscript changes, almost certainly made in proof, consist, for the most part, of added commas and the like. There are however, a few substantive changes. Dickens deleted, presumably in proof, the information that the music was provided by a fiddle and a harp (an uncharacteristic reduction for him), and he added, again presumably in proof, the final sentence ('It will be much, some day'). These slight changes are typical of the other substantive changes in Dickens' share of the article.
The manuscript sheds light on the way Dickens planned and wrote some of his composite pieces. For 'A Curious Dance' he wrote two separately headed and separately paged manuscripts. The first manuscript, labeled 'A' by Dickens, and constituting his first long contribution to the article, ends after only four lines on the fourth page - Dickens filled the remainder of the page with his characteristic 'ending' flourish, a squiggle down the center of the blank portion. The second manuscript, labeled 'B' by Dickens, and constituting his second long contribution to the article, runs for six close-packed, separately numbered pages, again beginning with page one. Both the overall division of the article and the separation of the contributions within the division indicate that Dickens and Wills discussed the strategy, organization, and dovetailing of the piece before either sat down to write this share, though Dickens, if he followed his usual practice, performed the final smoothing and integration in proof.
'A Curious Dance Round a Curious Tree' contains one of Dickens' infrequent theoretical speculations on the nature of art. This speculation, a theory of dramatic catharsis (see pp. 385-86), is identical, both in idea and type of example, to that which Dickens enunciated several months later in 'Lying Awake,' an essay he published in Household Words on 30 October 1852, and republished in Reprinted Pieces (1858). However, theorizing on art was incidental to Dickens' chief impulse in writing 'A Curious Dance.' He used the occasion of attending a Boxing Day party at St. Luke's Hospital to focus again on a lifelong interest - insanity and its treatment. See also 'Idiots.'

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 455

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 483

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Charity; Philanthropists; Philanthropists—Fiction; Benevolence
Education—Great Britain; Universities and Colleges; Schools
London (England)—Description and Travel
Poverty; Poor Laws—Great Britain; Workhouses—Great Britain
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 688

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: Snippet i
Subjects Art; Design; Painting; Sculpture; Photography; Interior Decoration;
Australia—Description and Travel; New Zealand—Description and Travel
Emigration; Immigration; Expatriation
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 529

Marshall Claxton's painting Christ Blessing the Little Children.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genres Prose: Essay i
Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Occasional (Christmas Story; article in Christmas or New Year Number, &c) i
Subject Christmas; New Year; Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 589

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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Communication; Telegraph; Postal Service
Great Britain—Social Life and Customs
London (England)—Description and Travel
Money; Finance; Banking; Investments; Taxation; Insurance; Debt; Inheritance and Succession
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 615

Dickens probably wrote the following portion of 'Post-Office Money-Orders': from 'The Central Money-order Office' (p. 3) to 'wealth and laurels!' (p. 4).
Dickens may also have rewritten or added to the following sections: from the opening to 'might be extinguished' (p. 1); from 'All these people' to 'hereditary bondsmen only' (p. 4).
In 1852 the following anonymous pamphlet was published in London: Methods of Employment, Being An Exposure of the unprincipled schemers, who, through the means of Advertisements, profess to give Receipts by which industrious persons of either sex may realize from £1 to £5, and even £10 per week. With Remarks by Charles Dickens, Esq. Most of the pamphlet was given over to reprinting gulling advertisements and recording the responses received when the ads were answered. But before getting down to this business, the author reprinted, under the title 'Post-Office Money-Orders,' a duly labeled extract from Household Words - the extract being that portion of 'Post-Office Money-Orders' which begins with 'A prosaic place enough' and ends with 'restore the orders to the deluded senders' (p. 3). No authority is given for attributing this extract to Dickens, and though the title page says the remarks are by him, the text itself claims only that the passage is from Household Words - a claim that is made in the introduction to the extract and reiterated at the end.

For a discussion of the Dickens-Wills attributions, see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office'.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Drooping Buds

3/4/1852

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Authors Charles Dickens
Henry Morley
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Children; Childhood; Pregnancy; Childbirth; Child Rearing; Adoption; Child Labor
Great Britain—Social Conditions—Nineteenth Century
Health; Diseases; Personal Injuries; Hygiene; Cleanliness—Fiction
Life Sciences (Physiology / Biology / Immunology / Medicine / Pharmacology / Anatomy / Ecology)
London (England)—Description and Travel
Medical care; Nursing; Hospitals; Hospital Care; Surgery; Medicine; Physicians
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 2086

Dickens probably wrote the following portion of 'Drooping Buds': from 'O! Baby's dead' (p. 46) to ''Come up, and see!'' (p.47).
Dickens may also have rewritten or added to the following passages: from the beginning to 'mortality among our children' (p. 45); the paragraph beginning 'London, like a fine old oak' (p. 46); the paragraph beginning 'Many stiff bows' (p. 46); from 'We followed' to 'not easily forget it' (p. 47); from 'So large a piece' (p. 48) to the conclusion.
In addition, Dickens seems to have gone over the entire piece very carefully - editing, interpolating, and emending throughout.
Dickens' most fervent contribution to this piece, the paragraph beginning 'O! Baby's dead,' seems to incorporate memories of the deaths of four young persons close to him: the sudden death of his eight-month-old baby, Dora, on 54 April 1851; the wasting death two years earlier of his crippled nephew, Harry Burnett, a prototype of Paul Dombey; the lingering death in 1848 of his consumptive sister, Fanny, mother of Harry; and still earlier, the death in his arms of his adored sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth.
'Drooping Buds' describes a visit to the newly founded Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street. Shortly after 'Drooping Buds' appeared, the Hospital, with Dickens' permission, reprinted the piece as a promotional pamphlet. The title page of the pamphlet did not name the authors but did indicate that the piece was 'From Dickens' Household Words' (see also 'A Curious Dance Round a Curious Tree'). Six years later (9 February 1858), Dickens delivered one of his most brilliant speeches at a dinner held to aid the Hospital, and two months after that (15 April 1858) he read A Christmas Carol to raise additional money for the institution.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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Author Charles Dickens
Genre Prose: History i
Subject Great Britain—History
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 449

Compiled in large part from Thomas Keightley, The History of England, and from George L. Craik and Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England.

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A Plated Article

24/4/1852

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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Cross-genre i
Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Prose: Short Fiction i
Subjects Commercial Products (Commodities); Material Culture; Shopping; Advertising
Great Britain—Description and Travel
Great Britain—Social Conditions—Nineteenth Century
Railroads
Work; Work and Family; Occupations; Professions; Wages
Attachments: 0 · Links: 0 · Hits: 539

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