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Foreigners' Portraits of Englishmen

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Authors Charles Dickens
Eustace Clare Grenville Murray
W[illiam] H[enry] Wills
Genres Prose: Essay i
Prose: Leading Article i
Subject National Characteristics; Nationalism
Other Details
Printed : 21/9/1850
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume I
Magazine : No. 26
Office Book Notes
Views : 638

Dickens wrote the following portion of 'Foreigners' Portraits of Englishmen': from 'In a pretty piece' (p. 601) to 'shadow of resemblance' (p. 602).
Dickens also made the following significant interpolations: from 'He must' to 'Isle of Wight' (p. 602); from 'We have some' to 'by sign-boards' (p. 602); from 'like a carriage-rug' to 'Field-Marshall' (p. 602); from 'an idiomatic place' to 'unable to report' (p. 602); from 'in which we think' to 'French vaudeville' (p. 603); from 'He was quite the Clown' to 'with his money' (p. 603); from 'Perhaps friendly' to 'absurdities' (p. 603); from 'Travelling Englishmen' to 'glad to improve' (p. 604); the concluding sentence.
Dickens' contributions to 'Foreigners' Portraits of Englishmen' have been determined from a proof in the Victoria and Albert Museum corrected in his hand. In addition to the contributions listed above, he made many less important emendations, additions, deletions, and corrections. These changes - the corrections he made on the original proof, the major passage he interpolated, and the further changes he seems to have made before the article was printed - may be studied in the two successive variorum versions given in Appendix A [of Harry Stone, ed., Uncollected Writings from Household Words 1850-1859, Vol 1, Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968].
Whether Dickens had a hand in the article before he corrected it is conjectural; but he almost certainly corrected a still later version of the article (probably a new proof incorporating the corrections he made in the Victoria and Albert galleys), for in the published article there are significant changes in some of his Victoria and Albert emendations, and he did not allow such tamperings with his own writings. The latter changes may be studied in the second of the variorum versions given in Appendix A.
The text [of the published article], when collated with those in Appendix A, demonstrates how Dickens' editing pervaded every aspect of his collaborators' work, and how, even in this article - one of those in which his contribution is a good deal smaller than usual - his care and his control are everywhere evident. The identifications and comparisons made possible by these versions also demonstrate how difficult it is, barring corrected proof or similar evidence, to determine the detailed changes he made in the work of his collaborators, though his own extended share in such joint articles is usually easily recognized.
For a similar study, though one based upon a different order of materials - the changes occurring between a manuscript in Dickens' hand and its final published version - see 'The Doom of English Wills' and Appendix B [of Stone, 1968].

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

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