Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

UNIVERSITY
CALIFORNIA

Preface

A GREAT deal may be expected from a Dickens Dictionary which has no legitimate place in it. One writer looks to it to define the term "waterman”; as well as to explain what Dickens intended by a “cab.”

cab.” I have the hope that some day I may complete a Dickens Encyclopaedia which would appropriately contain all such matters. But my aim in the compilation of this Dictionary has been to present a concise guide to the characters and the scenes in the works of our great novelist in a form as complete as possible. I have kept these two points consistently before me, but I am well aware that many errors both of omission and commission exist. in the work. I am comforted, however, by the knowledge that the work has been only partially attempted before, and even then with many imperfections. At the same time, I shall be grateful for information or any suggestions that will enable me to improve any future edition of the “ Dictionary.”

One of the greatest difficulties in the compilation of the work has been the separation of the characters and places from the casual comparative allusions with which the novels and, more particularly, the Miscellaneous Papers abound. Nothing germane has been intentionally omitted, but the Dictionary does not pretend to be an index or a concordance.

It was originally intended that the “ Dictionary” should contain a large amount of descriptive topography, But

while the places mentioned in the works are undergoing constant change (in fact many of them are even now quite unrecognisable), the works themselves are always the same, and it seemed advisable therefore to limit the scope of the “ Dictionary” to the works themselves rather than to render it prematurely out-of-date by the inclusion of temporary information.

The explanation is necessary to understand the arrangement of the “Dictionary,” but a short description may save some time in the case of occasional references. The entries are arranged as far as possible in alphabetical order. I say as far as possible, because numerous entries under words such as “ Boy” make it impossible to select an alphabetical order that will commend itself to every reader. The descriptive passage beneath the entry is taken from the novel or work. The note descriptive of the place of the character, or of the place, as the book progresses, follows in smaller type preceded by the word “note.” Following this, in a different style of type, is the original where a prototype is known. These are due sometimes to my own investigation, but in the majority of cases they are collected from a variety of sources. Even if they are unlikely they are mentioned, but with a caution as to their reliability. The works I have drawn upon are too numerous for individual mention, and include a very large number of miscellaneous cuttings from periodicals of all kinds.

I have endeavoured to include the whole of Dickens' works except the Letters, and “ A Child's History of England." The former were not written for publication, and the latter is obviously unsuited for dissection. I have not included “To be Read at Dusk,” but have adopted the standard of “ Miscellaneous Papers ”—that valuable collection of fugitive pieces gathered together on the authority of the “Household Words contributors' book,' ” etc.

A Bibliography of Dickens would have been a valuable feature no doubt, but it would have been too extensive for inclusion in the present compilation. I hope, however, to be able to produce it at no very distant date.

I have to offer my most sincere thanks to Mr. B. W. Matz for his great kindness, and for his assistance in reading through the whole of the proof sheets, as well as for the many valuable suggestions he has made during the course of the work.

ALEX J. PHILIP. GRAVESEND,

December, 1908.

[ocr errors][merged small]

x Sketches by Boz. (Published in volume form 1836.)

A series of papers of a humorous character dealing with life and scenes, chiefly in the Metropolis, as they were, for the most part, at the time of publication and the earlier part of the nineteenth century. They first appeared in the Monthly Magazine and the Morning and Evening Chronicle. They are arranged in sections, opening with Our Parish and continuing successively with Scenes, Characters, and Tales.

Sunday under three Heads. (Published 1836.)

Sunday-As it is : As Sabbath Bills would make it : As it might be made.

> Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. (Published in volume form 1837.)

After the first chapter the Club scarcely reappears until its interment at the end of the book. The narrative has no plot, and chronicles the doings of the Corresponding Members of the Club, the central figure of which is Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick, accompanied by Tupman, Snodgrass and Winkle, makes an excursion, in the interests of research, into Kent. They meet Jingle, and through this chance acquaintanceship they encounter the first “real” adventure to the party. On this occasion they encounter Mr. Wardle, and accept his invitation to the Manor Farm, Dingley Dell. During their too great enthusiasm for sport, rather greater than their skill, Winkle wings Tupman. Tupman retires and is nursed by Miss Wardle, when he falls under the spell of her charms. Jingle again turns up and cleverly puts Tupman out of court and elopes with Miss Wardle. They are pursued by Mr. Wardle, who is accompanied by Mr. Pickwick. They elude their pursuers on the road, but are discovered at the White Hart Inn in the Borough, where Jingle is induced to relinquish his claims on the lady for a monetary consideration. Here Mr. Pickwick finds Sam Weller and attaches him to his service. In announcing the change to his landlady, Mr. Pickwick falls into the greatest adventure in the book, viz., the breach of promise case Bardell v. Pickwick. During the progress of the preliminaries of the case Mr. Pickwick and his friends make other excursions : to Eatanswill; to Bury St. Edmunds ; to Dingley Dell again; to Ipswich; and back again to Dingley Dell. Mr. Pickwick loses his case and Mrs. Bardell is awarded £750 damages. Mr. Pickwick refuses to pay, and in the interval that elapses between the finding of the jury and his commitment to prison he and his friends visit Bath. The Bath visit is full of interest, the most important event being Mr. Winkle’s adventure with Mrs. Dowler in the sedanchair. Mr. Pickwick enters the Fleet Prison and Sam arranges for his own arrest so that he may still attend his master. Jingle and Trotter

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »