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George Dodd

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Published : 65 Articles
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Dodd, George I Dodd, G. Dodd l, 1808-1881, misc, writer. Wrote numerous articles for the various cyclopaedias and other publications brought out by Charles Knight; edited for him the Cyclopaedia of the Industry of All Nations, 1851. Dodd's "careful observation and his punctual industry," wrote Knight, made him "one of the most useful contributors to serial works" (Passages of a Working Life, II, 222). Collected various of his articles in book form. Wrote for serial publications of the publishers Chambers and compiled various works for them. His writings include Days at the Factories, 1843; The Curiosities of Industry, 1852; The Food of London, 1856; Where Do We Get It, and How Is It Made?, 1862; Railways, Steamers, and Telegraphs, 1867; also two historical works.




      Dickens evidently regarded Dodd as a useful but rather pedestrian writer. One of Dodd's H.W. articles – "Penny Wisdom" [(lead) VI, 97-101. Oct. 16, 1852] – he found "very interesting and good," but another he dismissed with the remark, "Dodd as bad as need be. Nothing in it" (to Wills, Oct. 7, 1852; Oct. 14, 1854). "An Artificial Ocean," apparently by Dodd, in A.Y.R. (Sept. 8, 1866), prompted Dickens's comment: "O Lord! O Lord!! Its efforts at humour. Make Dodd a fine comic writer" (to Wills, Aug. 26, 1866: MS Huntington Library).
      Dickens discovered – or was informed of – certain inaccuracies in Dodd's "Diets of Gold and Silver"; [VII, 17-20. March 5, 1853] likewise, certain supposed misstatements in "India-Rubber" [VII, 29-33. March 12, 1853] were called to his attention. Dickens asked Wills (March 18, 1853) to have Dodd report whatever he might have to say on the various statements alleged to be incorrect. "... if it should turn out – which it may not – that he has again committed and misled us ... , it is quite clear it won't do. Nothing can be so damaging to Household Words as carelessness about facts. It is as hideous as dullness."
      In his H.W. articles Dodd dealt with many of the subjects that he dealt with in his books; thus, some of the same material appears in both, often in very similar phraseology. Dodd obviously had before him his H.W. article "All about Pigs" [V, 471-74. July 31, 1852] while writing chap. vii of The Food of London; he made use of material in various sections of his Curiosities of Industry in writing some of his H.W. articles, e.g., "Wood, and How to Cut It,'' "Pot and Kettle Philosophy," "Several Heads of Hair."
      The authorship of "Electric Light," [XI, 251-54. April 14, 1855], is not entirely clear. For the number in which it appears, the Office Book gives first a partial listing of contents, which is marked out because of error; then a second listing, which is still incorrect. In the cancelled listing the names "Dodd Capper" (no ampersand) stand in the author-column for the item (in the uncancelled listing, Miss Procter's name, through misalignment, stands in that position). The item is appropriate to the interests of both Dodd and Capper, though more particularly to those of Dodd. It may possibly be the joint writing of the two contributors, though joint authorship seems unlikely; the Office Book records no collaboration of Dodd and Capper on other items.
                                                                                                                                                                                                D.N.B.

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

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 

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