Reading Dickens as he was published
As most of you will know, Charles Dickens never published his novels all in one go. Some were published in weekly instalments in literary journals; but the type of publication which is most closely associated with Charles Dickens as an author is that of monthly parts publication: It was how he helped revolutionise Victorian publishing, being the first to master the format with Pickwick
, and the last to make it profitable, with Edwin Drood
We propose to read one of Dickens' less famous novels, Martin Chuzzlewit
, as it was published, exactly 170 years after the fact: Dickens started publishing this novel in January 1843; we will start reading it this January. Dickens published the novel over 18 months; we will be reading it over 18 months.
And we want you
to join us (you must at this point imagine me wearing a star spangled top hat and pointing intently at you).
This is what will happen: Once a month, like a pleasant, albeit expected, surprise, a fairly large .pdf file (the first one will be 19mb) will appear in your inbox. It is large because it contains a beautiful facsimile of the original parts from 1843 (and later 1844), complete with the traditional green wrappers (which was a staple of Dickens' early publications, and which he returned to in his final books), and the nutty Victorian advertisements we know and love. You will then read about 3 chapters a month (no cheating by buying the book and finishing it ahead of time) over the next year and a half.
How can you resist?
Send me an e-mail, and I'll add you to the list.