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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 Fashion; Fashion History; Clothing and Dress; Millinery; Textile Crafts; Textile Design; Cotton; Cotton Manufacture
Great Britain—Commerce
Great Britain—Social Conditions—Nineteenth Century
London (England)—Description and Travel
Poverty; Poor Laws—Great Britain; Workhouses—Great Britain
Work; Work and Family; Occupations; Professions; Wages
Other Details
Printed : 5/4/1851
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume III
Magazine : No. 54
Office Book Notes
Views : 1270

Dickens probably wrote the following portions of 'Spitalfields': from 'And what strange streets' (p. 27) to 'in the streets' (p. 29); from 'We knock at the door' (p. 30) to the conclusion.
Dickens may also have added substantially to the following sections: from the beginning to 'come to Spitalfields?' (p. 25); from 'Along a narrow passage' to 'money of Great Britain' (p. 25).
In addition, Dickens seems to have added many telling touches to passages primarily by Wills. For a discussion of the Dickens-Wills attributions, see note to 'Valentine's Day at the Post-Office.'
Spitalfields, as the article relates, was a portion of London resettled in the seventeenth century by French Huguenot weavers. These men had made the district a center of home silk weaving - a method of manufacture that had latterly become outmoded and uneconomic. Writing with subdued force and symbolic richness, Dickens, in his chief contribution to the piece (pp. 27-29), describes the weaver and his task, juxtaposes traditional ways with the thunderous rush of industrialization, and limns a stark picture of a doomed man at his doomed work.

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

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