By Grahame Smith (auth.)

ISBN-10: 031212919X

ISBN-13: 9780312129194

ISBN-10: 0333557190

ISBN-13: 9780333557198

ISBN-10: 1349244899

ISBN-13: 9781349244898

This research of Dickens's profession as a qualified author makes use of a variety of fabric to explain and examine the ways that his paintings may be obvious as a kind of literary construction. It therefore deals a problem to conventional money owed which tension the non-public nature of Dickens's genius. Smith specializes in the communal nature of Dickens's success in his struggles with publishers, the expectancies of an unlimited public, and the calls for of serialization.

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Extra resources for Charles Dickens: A Literary Life

Sample text

Similar traps await the unwary on the question of the state of book publishing in 1836, as scholarly disagreements make clear. Again, it would be tempting to claim a number of firsts here: that Dickens's sales and remuneration were unparalleled in the history of literature, and that Pickwick single-handedly restored and revolutionized publishing from a period of decline. The picture is inevitably less clear than such a sharply defined sketch. In the early years of the nineteenth century two publishers, John Murray and Blackwood,paid large sums to writers who are still famous - Murray, for example, paid Byron £2000 (a huge sum in its day) for the third canto of his poem Childe Harold.

Ackroyd 902). What publisher and writer were bent on at this earlier stage, or what they came to be bent on as they began to understand Pickwick's extraordinary success, was the commercialization of publishing in the interests of producing what has come to be called a commodity-text. In other Publishers and Serialization 25 words, they ignored the financial security guaranteed by Mudie of a marginal but secure profit on a relatively short run of expensive threedeckers for the dizzying prospect of enormous profits, which initially went mainly to the publishers, on a form of publication which could hardly have seemed more evanescent.

And they did so partly because he was already 22 Dickens: A Literary Life recognised as a rising young writer on the basis of the work that came to be known as Sketches by Boz on its first publication in book form in February 1836, a few days before Chapman and Hall proposed terms for Pickwick. Dickens's first published sketch, 'A Dinner at Poplar Walk', appeared anonymously in the Monthly Magazine in December 1833 and over the next few years he published some forty sketches that eventually formed the basis of the First Series of the Sketches.

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Charles Dickens: A Literary Life by Grahame Smith (auth.)


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