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William Blanchard Jerrold

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Published : 55 Articles
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
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Journalist and author; eldest son of Douglas Jerrold (1803-1857). Attended school in England and in France; studied to become an artist; turned to journalism. After 1855, spent much time in France; knew Gustave Dore and Napoleon III. Wrote for his father's Weekly Newspaper. Contributed to Illustrated London News, Athenaeum, Welcome Guest, Once a Week, the Gentleman's Magazine, and other periodicals. From 1857 to time of his death was editor of Lloyd's Weekly. Author of comedies, novels, books on gastronomy; books on French society, institutions, politics; a life of his father, one of Napoleon Ill, and one of George Cruikshank. Wrote letter-press to Doré's London. A Pilgrimage, 1872; at time of his death, engaged on life of Doré. Edited works of his father, The Final Reliques of Father Prout, poetical works of Laman Blanchard.


Dickens was a friend of Jerrold's father (who declined to write for H.W. because of Dickens's policy of anonymous publication); he took an interest in the son. Jerrold played a role in one of Dickens's presentations of Every Man in His Humour; he was engaged by Dickens as reporter for the Daily News. Marked bitterness between Jerrold and Dickens resulted when, on the death of Jerrold's father, Dickens set about organizing benefits for the Jerrold family. Jerrold naturally resented Dickens's officiousness; Dickens was indignant at Jerrold's lack of proper gratitude. Amicable relations were later re-established between the two. Jerrold's life of his father contains some of his father's letters to Dickens, which Dickens had placed at Jerrold's disposal. His presentation copy of the book to Dickens Jerrold inscribed: "To Charles Dickens, Esquire, the first 'perfect' copy of the Life of his dear friend" (Stonehouse, Catalogue). Jerrold wrote a memorial tribute to Dickens, the Gentleman's Magazine, July 1870; he devoted to Dickens the first number (June 1871) of his series titled The Best of All Good Company. He contributed to A.Y.R., reprinting various of his contributions in The Cupboard Papers, 1881, and in other books.

Dickens found Jerrold's "Broken Language" and "The French Waiter" very poor (to Wills, May 4, July 9 1854: MSS Huntington Library).

Wilkie Collins's H.W. article "Douglas Jerrold", based on Jerrold's life of his father, gave high praise to that work: "It is good as the record of a literary life: it is still better as a tribute to the memory of a father, offered by the love and duty of a son".

Ten of Jerrold's H.W. contributions were reprinted in Harper's, four of them acknowledged to H.W. Three were included in the Putnam volumes of selections from H.W.: Home and Social Philosophy, 1st and 2nd series.

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

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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