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Authors Charles Dickens
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Cross-genre i
Prose: Report i
Prose: Short Fiction i
Subjects Great Britain—Description and Travel
Great Britain—Social Life and Customs
Natural Sciences (Astronomy / Botany / Geology / Natural History / Oceanography / Paleontology / Zoology)
Sports; Games; Leisure; Pleasure; Hunting; Horse Racing; Gambling; Duelling
Other Details
Printed : 7/6/1851
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume III
Magazine : No. 63
Office Book Notes
Views : 557

Dickens probably wrote the following portion of 'Epsom': from 'On that great occasion' (p. 244) to the conclusion.
Dickens may also have added briefly to the following passage: from the opening to 'names in the country' (p. 241).
In addition, Dickens seems to have retouched sections primarily by Wills.
For a discussion of the Dickens-Wills attributions, see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office.'
'Epsom' states that Dickens or Wills (or both) visited Epsom on Monday, 19 May; if Dickens was there Monday, he returned to London - for he was in town on the 20th and 21st - and then (according to letters of 21 May) went down again on Wednesday the 21st, Derby Day, returning that evening. Later that night, he wrote to Edward Bulwer Lytton: 'I have just come home from the Derby. I never saw such a crowd as on the road coming home.' On 29 May, in a letter to Wills, Dickens wrote, probably about 'Epsom': 'I think we shall now have a very good article. I have two requests to make in connexion with the enclosed copy. First, that you will severely reprove the White-friars people [the printers of Household Words] in my name, for having the negligence to send me yesterday the uncorrected proof after all. Secondly that you will very carefully correct the proof of the new matter, and, if you have any doubt, refer to the manuscript.' Later in the same letter, he added: 'I have gone to Epsom very freshly.'
The Derby and the journey to and from Epsom was a familiar set piece of Victorian genre writing, painting, and sketching.

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

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