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George Hogarth

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Published : 4 Articles
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : 6/9/1783
Death : 12/2/1870
Views : 2605

Lawyer, music critic, journalist. Studied law; writer to the Signet, Edinburgh. In 1830 gave up law for journalism, Removed to London, 1834. Joined staff of Morning Chronicle; appointed editor of Evening Chronicle; music critic for Daily News, 1846-1866. Wrote also for Illustrated London News and other periodicals. Author of Musical History, Biography, and Criticism, 1835; Memoirs of the Musical Drama, 1838; and other works.


Hogarth became acquainted with Dickens in 1834, when Dickens began writing for the Morning Chronicle. He took a kindly interest in the young man, gave him introductions that were of value to him, and, in a Morning Chronicle review, praised Sketches by Boz. Dickens liked and respected Hogarth; he became a friend of the Hogarth family; in 1836 he married Hogarth's daughter Catherine. During the years immediately preceding Dickens's separation from his wife, Hogarth came in for a share of Dickens's increasing dislike of the Hogarths. Hogarth himself, however, "apparently never acted upon, or even shared, the acrimony of his wife and his daughter Helen toward Dickens", and Dickens seems to have retained no permanent rancour toward him (Adrian, Georgina Hogarth and the Dickens Circle, pp. 61-62, 130).

In his first journalistic association with Dickens, Hogarth was Dickens's superior on the two papers for which they both worked. Thereafter, the roles shifted. Dickens, as editor of Bentley's Miscellany, accepted contributions from Hogarth for that periodical; and, as editor of the Daily News, he engaged Hogarth for the staff.

Hogarth's duties in connection with H.W. are not entirely clear. Three weeks before the first number appeared, Dickens wrote to Wills concerning an article (subject not stated): "I should wish Hogarth to see that article before it is used. Will you see him, and set him to work on something else? He has nothing in hand now" (March 6 1850). Later, Dickens asked Wills to have Hogarth look over an article on the Erardsa subject, of course, specifically within Hogarth's province to see that it contained nothing "against his positive knowledge" (September 18 1855). Hogarth was paid for the articles that he wrote for H.W.; that fact indicates that he was not a salaried member of the editorial staff. His main work seems to have been the compiling of news summaries for the Household Narrative of Current Events, a supplementary publication brought out from 1850 to 1855, at first under the direction of Forster, later under that of Wills. Morley referred to "Poor nice old Hogarth", "the good old simple-minded man who ... compounds the news of household narrative out of the papers" (Solly, Life of Henry Morley, p. 200). Sala mentioned the "monthly compendium of news" (which he miscalled the Household Budget) as "edited by Mr. George Hogarth, Dickens's father-in-law" (Life and Adventures, p. 382).

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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