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By Philip Collins

The severe history gathers jointly a wide physique of severe assets on significant figures in literature. each one quantity offers modern responses to a writer's paintings, permitting scholars and researchers to learn the works for themselves.

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Charles Dickens: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : 19th Century Novelists)

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W. M. Reynolds, and though an occasional novel such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) might surpass his in sales, he was with good reason the envy of the other novelists of repute in his days: see Thackeray’s letters passim, and the sales-figures in Trollope’s Autobiography and Professor Haight’s edition of George Eliot’s letters. ‘People who never read any other novels, read Mr Dickens’s’ (No. 138), and many of the items printed below comment in more detail on the range of his readership and the reasons for this large and sustained popularity.

18 June 1872, quoted in George Eliot and her Readers, ed Laurence Lerner and John Holmstrom (1966), 83. For the sales of Dickens’s novels, see Appendix I. Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone, ed. Herbert Paul (1913), 26. Diaries, ed. William Toynbee (1912), ii, 418. ‘Autobiographical Sketch’, in Selected Literary Criticism, ed. Anthony Beal (1955), 3. Review of American Notes, North American Review, January 1843, lvi, 212. Reminiscences (1899), i, 32. Pilgrim, i, 147, 129, 189. ‘Fielding’s Works’, Times, 2 September 1840 (Critical Papers in Literature [1904], 207).

From unsigned reviews of Pickwick Papers, Metropolitan Magazine May 1836 – May 1837 (a) (May 1836, xvi, 15, reviewing No. I) ‘…“Boz” is a rising writer; in his prosperous navigation he has but one shoal to beware of—extravagance. ] (c) (August 1836, xvi, 110, on No. …“Boz” is making for himself a standard fame, and this number is, perhaps, the best that has yet appeared. The wit of these papers is subtle and beneath the surface; their humour is not that of extravagance, but of nature…’ (d) (September 1836, xvii, 13) ‘Boz marches on triumphantly, and has completely taken possession of the ear, and of the heart too, of his countrymen.

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