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William Charles Mark Kent

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Published : 12 Articles
Pen Names : MarkRochester
Date of Birth : 3/11/1823
Death : 23/2/1902
Views : 2350

Journalist and author. Educated at St. Mary's College, Oscott. Admitted at Middle Temple; called to the bar, 1859, but did not practise law. Editor of the Sun, 1845-1871; of Weekly Register and Catholic Standard, 1874-1881. Contributed to New Monthly, Westminster Review, Blackwood's, and other periodicals. Published collections of his political sketches written for the Sun; two volumes of poems and a collected edition; also other works. Edited a volume of selections from Leigh Hunt, the miscellaneous writings of Bulwer-Lytton, and the works of Burns, Moore, and other authors. In 1887 granted Civil List pension of £100 a year "In recognition of the value of his contributions to biographical and other literature" (Colles, Literature and the Pension List).


Kent was, as Percy Fitzgerald said, a "faithful follower and worshipper" of Dickens (Memories of Charles Dickens, p. 319). The acquaintance of the two men came about through Dickens's writing to Kent as editor of the Sun, asking him to express "Mr. Dickens' warmest acknowledgements and thanks" to the writer of a review of Dombey that had appeared in the paper; Kent himself had written the review. The friendship that followed continued unbroken to the end of Dickens's life. One of the last letters that Dickens wrote on the day before his death was a letter to Kent, arranging to see him the following day. Kent dedicated his Footprints on the Road to Dickens "with earnest regard and grateful admiration". The dedication, wrote Dickens, "heartily, most heartily, gratifies me, as the sincere tribute of a true and generous heart". He was charmed with the book (to Kent, November 6 1865). In the Athenaeum, June 3 1871, Kent published a verse tribute to Dickens: "O Friend! O Brother! dearer to my heart / Than ev'n thy loving friendship could discern ...".

In 1872 he published Charles Dickens As a Reader, a book which he had begun some time before Dickens's death and for which Dickens had placed various materials at his disposal. Kent edited two books of selections from Dickens's writings and published some miscellaneous Dickensiana.

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

 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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