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A Free (and Easy) School

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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
Other Details
Printed : 15/11/1851
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume IV
Magazine : No. 86
Office Book Notes
MemoAbuses practised in endowed grammar school.
Views : 527

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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