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Charles Dickens
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message 1: by MJ (last edited Sep 22, 2012 02:21PM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments I'm currently working my way through Dickens's novels in publication order . . . reading Little Dorrit at the moment. Dickens has quite a few books of journalism and assorted bits and bobs (including letters), so total completion may prove challenging.

Serialised Novels:

The Pickwick Papers (April 1836-November 1837)
The Adventures of Oliver Twist (February 1837 to April 1839)
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (April 1838 to October 1839)
The Old Curiosity Shop (April 25, 1840 to February 6, 1841)
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty' (February 13, 1841, to November 27, 1841)
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (January 1843 to July 1844)
Dombey and Son (October 1846 to April 1848)
David Copperfield (May 1849 to November 1850)
Bleak House (March 1852 to September 1853)
Hard Times: For These Times (April 1, 1854, to August 12, 1854)
Little Dorrit (December 1855 to June 1857)
A Tale of Two Cities (April 30, 1859, to November 26, 1859)
Great Expectations (December 1, 1860 to August 3, 1861)
Our Mutual Friend (May 1864 to November 1865)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (April 1870 to September 1870).

Christmas Books:

A Christmas Carol (1843)
The Chimes (1844)
The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)
The Battle of Life (1846)
The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1848)
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books (OUP 2008)

Other Works in Penguin:

Sketches by Boz
American Notes for General Circulation
Selected Journalism, 1850-1870
Pictures from Italy
Selected Short Fiction

Collaborative Works/ Other Miscellany from Hesperus Press:

A Round of Stories by the Christmas Fire
Another Round of Stories by the Christmas Fire
The Holly-Tree Inn
A House to Let
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices
Mrs Lirriper
Mugby Junction
On London
On Theatre
On Travel
The Seven Poor Travellers
Somebody's Luggage
The Wreck of the Golden Mary
No Thoroughfare

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_...


message 2: by Brian (new)

Brian | 8 comments Last year I read his unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and then read Simmons' Drood right after. While neither book was exceptional, I was amazed at the amount of research that Simmons invested in his fictional telling of the story of the last few years of Dickens' life, as told by Wilkie Collins (he nailed Collins' voice as the narrator).

I haven't read more than a handful of Dickens other books, though I would like to. David Copperfield is always somewhere on the horizon.


message 3: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Thanks, I hadn't heard of that Drood book before. I'm looking forward to all the books around the books that will follow my Dickens completion.


message 4: by Sketchbook (last edited Sep 17, 2012 09:01PM) (new)

Sketchbook I've been w The Pickwick Papers, off-on, for a while. I particularly like the razzing of phrase, Never Mind. Today it would be: Whatever. (Chapt 24)-- I deliberately selected a "comedy," and it is roustabout. The marvel - and the caution - is that Dickens keeps it going (in my edition) for 800 pages. "Whatever."


message 5: by MJ (last edited Sep 18, 2012 02:25AM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Pickwick is tremendous fun: more a piece of sketch comedy before the proper narratives begun. It's amazing that Oliver Twist was the book that came after this: obviously his style, social satire and character ability arrived fully formed.


message 6: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 44 comments i read Great Expectations and Oliver Twist and a couple others many, many years ago. loved them, of course. just recently read David Copperfield and loved it even more. now i keep contemplating Bleak House. probably because of that awesome title.


message 7: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (okaynevermind) | 7 comments Read: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Dombey and Son.

Even thinking about reading another Dickens novel makes me all excited. Seems my pattern is for one or two a year.

From what I have read, it feels like the longer the work is the better I end up in opinion of it. Copperfield and Dombey are at the top, and I wonder if it is because they become so absorbing for so long that they might as well have been stitched to my being. But I haven't attempted the monstrous Bleak House, so my speculation stops there.


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Baxter | 2 comments I've read A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. I'm looking forward to more, but I'm not in a hurry. I'm glad to let them come along one at a time.


message 9: by Tej (new)

Tej | 8 comments So far I have read A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield (probably my favorite so far), Great Expectations, Hard Times, Martin Chuzzlewit, and A Tale of Two Cities. I still plan on reading Bleak House. Not sure if I'll get to any others, though.

Is anyone familiar with the Jasper Fforde series of Thursday Next? It's a fun ride. The second book in the series, Lost in a Good Book, makes you see Miss Havisham in a whole new light!


message 10: by Teresa (last edited Sep 22, 2012 02:14PM) (new)

Teresa I've read all of Dickens novels, including his nonfiction books and his journalism. As MJ said total completion may be challenging and perhaps I've missed some, but I think I got it all after reading Dickens' Journalism: 'The Uncommercial Traveller' and Other Papers, 1859-1870, v. 4.

"Bleak House" is one of my favorites.


message 11: by MJ (last edited Sep 18, 2012 02:47PM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Teresa wrote: "'ve read all of Dickens, including his journalism. "

Wow! How did you find his journalism? I'd imagine all those pieces and the letters would be a real slog for me. Also, you might be able to help with the list of books where all the bits and bobs are collected. I know Hesperus Press have a lot of the collaborative stories in print.


message 12: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook I'd love to read some of the Jlism. Critics oft favor his darker work, but this is obvious "like." CD was a comic genius. Which is why I revel in the Pickwick clubbies.


message 13: by Teresa (last edited Sep 18, 2012 02:51PM) (new)

Teresa MJ wrote: "Teresa wrote: "'ve read all of Dickens, including his journalism. "

Wow! How did you find his journalism? I'd imagine all those pieces and the letters would be a real slog for me."


It did take me quite awhile to finish, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I love his sarcasm and a lot of his journalism is filled with it.


message 14: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Early Dickens are the funniest, from Pickwick to Curiosity Shop.


message 15: by Teresa (last edited Sep 18, 2012 02:54PM) (new)

Teresa MJ wrote: "Also, you might be able to help with the list of books where all the bits and bobs are collected. I know Hesperus Press have a lot of the collaborative stories in print. "

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/c... is a good -- though not always perfect -- resource for this kind of thing.

I used to belong to a Dickens group and have quite a bit of printed info on stuff like that, so I'll check it when I get a chance.


message 16: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Appreciate this info.


message 17: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Sketchbook wrote: "Appreciate this info."

Sketchy said it. Thanks!


message 18: by Teresa (last edited Sep 18, 2012 03:30PM) (new)

Teresa I looked and I see there are collections of his letters (Pilgrim edition) and his journalism (Dent Uniform Edition), but not a collection of his collaborations that I can find, though I think you could probably find most of them, if not all, individually at http://www.gutenberg.org/.


message 19: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 44 comments Teresa wrote: "I've read all of Dickens, including his journalism. As MJ said total completion may be challenging and perhaps I've missed some, but I think I got it all after reading Dickens' Journalism: 'The Un..."

impressed! very!


message 20: by Teresa (last edited Sep 22, 2012 02:57PM) (new)

Teresa Thanks, Mark! Though it did take me from the 70s until around 2010.


message 21: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments I've just joined this group... fancy meeting you here, Teresa! ;) Dickens is an author where it is very difficult to read everything, even though I've loved him since I was ten years old and am now in my 50s. I've read all his novels (let's be honest, I've read all of them at least three or four times and some of them, like Edwin Drood, so many times I've lost count!) and all 12 volumes of the Pilgrim Letters, all four volumes of collected journalism, plus a book of uncollected journalism, the Christmas books, the collected Christmas stories, his two travel books, various collaborations and all the other short stories I've come across.

But there is still more I haven't got to yet, including the memoirs of the clown Joseph Grimaldi which he edited/rewrote, plus some plays that I haven't got to yet, and I'm pretty sure there are more short stories and journalism. I also haven't as yet read all the Hesperus reprints of the Christmas numbers of his magazines - I have read a couple so far and appreciate having the list of these, as I think they may contain more Dickens stories that aren't in the collected Christmas Stories published by Chapman and Hall, as well as the stories by other writers which are interesting to read too.

One of Dickens's collaborations with Wilkie Collins isn't on the list above - 'No Thoroughfare', which is a good short novel. I think it's quite easy to tell which sections are by which author, but their styles do go well together. 'A Child's History of England' and 'The Life of Our Lord' are a couple more works which spring to mind - both are probably for completists only, but then again that is the point of this group!


message 22: by Teresa (last edited Sep 22, 2012 02:16PM) (new)

Teresa Hi, Judy! Here's the real expert, folks! And she's right, there's no way I've read all of Dickens and though I've read a lot, she's read much more.

I'm sure Judy's read as much as any Dickens expert, and I know she knows much more than I do. She'll be invaluable to this group.

I haven't read all the letters and I'm sure I've missed some of the uncollected stuff.

I have read all that Judy mentions in her 3rd paragraph, and reading "No Thoroughfare" was due to a Yahoo group that she moderated/owned.


message 23: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Hi Judy! I'm so glad you joined, along with Teresa, as you are not only uber-completists, you can help me to weed out some of the non-essential parts of his back catalogue. But just for general chat's sake, what of the novels are your favourites?


message 24: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments Thanks, Teresa - you are too kind, I'm blushing. I was lucky that my local library had the complete letters so it was easy to get hold of them. I must get on and read some more of those Hesperus books now.


message 25: by Teresa (new)

Teresa MJ wrote: "Hi Judy! I'm so glad you joined, along with Teresa, as you are not only uber-completists, you can help me to weed out some of the non-essential parts of his back catalogue. But just for general cha..."

My favorite, though I recognize its imperfections, is probably "Our Mutual Friend." "Bleak House" might be a close 2nd as I love the description of the legal case and its effects on the characters.

I tend toward the 'darker side', so my least favorite is probably "Pickwick." And then "Nickleby." Though there are parts of both, of course, that I think are great.


message 26: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Judy wrote: "Thanks, Teresa - you are too kind, I'm blushing. I was lucky that my local library had the complete letters so it was easy to get hold of them. I must get on and read some more of those Hesperus bo..."

I haven't read much Dickens since finishing the collected journalism (in 2010), so this group might be a good impetus to get me going again.


message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments Thanks, MJ! I love Dickens writing in the first person, so 'David Copperfield', 'Great Expectations' and 'Bleak House' are all favourites for me - I also love 'Edwin Drood' because it is so wonderfully dark, and 'A Tale of Two Cities'.

I suppose my least favourites out of the novels are probably 'Barnaby Rudge' and 'The Old Curiosity Shop', which both seem rather patchy, though, having said that, there are some great patches.


message 28: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments I'm just reading a biography of his daughter Katey at the moment - she was an artist and a model for the pre-Raphaelites. Interesting to find out more about her.


message 29: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Judy wrote: "Thanks, MJ! I love Dickens writing in the first person, so 'David Copperfield', 'Great Expectations' and 'Bleak House' are all favourites for me - I also love 'Edwin Drood' because it is so wonderf..."

Yes, those are all great! I need to reread "Drood" one day.

I ended up liking "Barnaby Rudge" so much more than I thought I would. And while I agree that "Curiosity" has its issues, I read it when I was young and loved it then, so it's probably a sentimental favorite, as befits it, I guess. And then I bought a copy of it when visiting London as an adult and read it on the plane home, so that seems to have added to its value for me.


message 30: by Teresa (last edited Sep 22, 2012 08:56PM) (new)

Teresa Judy wrote: "I'm just reading a biography of his daughter Katey at the moment - she was an artist and a model for the pre-Raphaelites. Interesting to find out more about her."

She was first married to Wilkie Collins' brother, who was also an artist, right? Seems to me I remember something about her father not approving of that marriage at first ... I bet it is interesting.


message 31: by Judy (last edited Sep 23, 2012 12:51AM) (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments Teresa wrote: "I tend toward the 'darker side', so my least favorite is probably "Pickwick." And then "Nickleby." Though there are parts of both, of course, that I think are great."

I tend towards the darker side too, but I love 'Pickwick' - and although it is so sunny and humorous most of the time there are some dark sections, like the part in the Fleet prison. 'Nickleby' isn't one of my favourites either, but I do love Fanny Squeers and the actors. Must agree that 'Our Mutual Friend' is great!


message 32: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8 comments Teresa wrote: "She was first married to Wilkie Collins' brother, who was also an artist, right?"

Yes, that's right - I'm not very far into the biography, by Dickens' descendant Lucinda Hawksley, as yet as I'm reading too many books at once, but it's interesting so far, though unfortunately it doesn't have proper footnotes.


message 33: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Judy wrote: "Teresa wrote: "She was first married to Wilkie Collins' brother, who was also an artist, right?"

Yes, that's right - I'm not very far into the biography, by Dickens' descendant Lucinda Hawksley, a..."


I look forward to your review, Judy.


message 34: by Sketchbook (last edited Oct 12, 2012 12:33PM) (new)

Sketchbook Appreciating the 19thcentury...note the articulation and language of Dickens. Today, most are inarticulate. (Read GRs). What happened....? Call it "progress" ?


message 35: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Sketchbook wrote: "Appreciating the 19thcentury...note the articulation and language of Dickens. Today, most are inarticulate. (Read GRs). What happened....? Call it "progress" ?"

Language evolves. In 200 years from now we may all be speaking in a form of text-speak shorthand. lik u hv 2 lt lngge evove!


message 36: by Sketchbook (last edited Oct 12, 2012 08:12PM) (new)

Sketchbook 200 years? I guess that extra "o" is a typo.


message 37: by Tej (new)

Tej | 8 comments I'm always conflicted on the issue of language. At a cerebral level, I accept that language and society evolve simultaneously. Compare our language to Shakespeare to Chaucer to Beowulf. It changes. Ain't no way to stop it. But on the other hand, I like my rules! I have always lived by the philosophy that you can only break the rules once you have demonstrated that you actually know them. I'm afraid we don't have many people left in the English-speaking world--not even in the publishing industry--who have a solid grasp of their language and its grammar. That makes me very sad.


message 38: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments ^ True, but it doesn't mean people aren't writing high quality books. Only they have to find a way of promoting them themselves.


message 39: by Sketchbook (last edited Oct 17, 2012 12:29PM) (new)

Sketchbook Tej, I agree...I'm not just referring to books, but to the spoken word in social discourse.


message 40: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliemojeiko) | 2 comments I'm attempting to read all of Charles Dickens' novels in 2013. I've created a timeline and discussions over at: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/8...

Please feel free to join! We can read them in just ~30 pages a day.


message 41: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments I heartily endorse this endeavour, having just completed my year of Dickens. The Pickwick Papers is tremendous fun and a terrific start.


message 42: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliemojeiko) | 2 comments MJ wrote: "I heartily endorse this endeavour, having just completed my year of Dickens. The Pickwick Papers is tremendous fun and a terrific start."

Thanks, MJ! I'm really looking forward to this. :)


message 43: by Richard (new)

Richard | 6 comments Dickens also wrote some stories intended for children. I've read only one which is called "The Magic Fishbone," featuring a clueless but good-natured king and a grumpy fairy godmother. It's part of a collection called Holiday Romance.

There was also a life of Jesus that Dickens intended for his own children but not for a wider public.

Having read Ackroyd's biography of Dickens (as a big part of my research for a Dickens-related short story), I now want to read the more recent biographies by Michael Slater and Claire Tomalin.


message 44: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments Richard wrote: "I now want to read the more recent biographies by Michael Slater and Claire Tomalin. "

Please do, so you can tell me us which one is best.


message 45: by Richard (new)

Richard | 6 comments MJ wrote: "Richard wrote: "I now want to read the more recent biographies by Michael Slater and Claire Tomalin. "

Please do, so you can tell me us which one is best."


I have Slater's biography sitting on my shelf waiting for my perusal. I have yet to acquire Tomalin's. But I've heard good things about it.


message 46: by David (new)

David Merrill | 36 comments Is this the group that will be reading Bleak House in January? I know there is one, but I can't remember which group it was. I guess I've joined too many. LOL If you know which group will be reading it, please let me know. I really wanted to read it with them. If not, the year of Dickens group sounds interesting. I just joined. I'm way too erratic with my reading to commit to all of them, but I'll probably join in on a few.


message 47: by Darwin8u (new)

Darwin8u | 46 comments Serialised Novels:

The Pickwick Papers (April 1836-November 1837)
The Adventures of Oliver Twist (February 1837 to April 1839)
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (April 1838 to October 1839)
The Old Curiosity Shop (April 25, 1840 to February 6, 1841)
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty' (February 13, 1841, to November 27, 1841)
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (January 1843 to July 1844)
Dombey and Son (October 1846 to April 1848)
David Copperfield (May 1849 to November 1850)
Bleak House (March 1852 to September 1853)
Hard Times: For These Times (April 1, 1854, to August 12, 1854)
Little Dorrit (December 1855 to June 1857)
A Tale of Two Cities (April 30, 1859, to November 26, 1859)
Great Expectations (December 1, 1860 to August 3, 1861)
Our Mutual Friend (May 1864 to November 1865)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (April 1870 to September 1870).


message 48: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 211 comments ^ Any logic to your reading order (apart from shortest first)?


message 49: by Darwin8u (last edited Jul 07, 2013 10:36AM) (new)

Darwin8u | 46 comments No. No logic. Size and popularity are probably somewhat correlated. I read 'Tale of Two Cities', 'Oliver Twist' and 'Great Expectations' (popular) before I really thought about reading them all. I know I want to save 'Bleak House' (best for last) till the end, so there is that.

It also depends on which Dickens novel I've recently found at the used bookstore in an everyman's library version. But I imagine that is correlated with popularity and I also imagine that popularity with Dickens is somewhat correlated with size (imperfectly, but somewhat).

If I have two copies, say one penguin or modern library paperback AND the everyman's library version, I do feel more compelled to read the book sooner, but again that is probably indirectly correlated to popularity and size.

Mainly, it is just where the wind blows me and what I've read immediately before. Right now I'm reading 'David Copperfield' and I think my next read will be 'Our Mutual Friend', so no... just the weight of the moon and the spin of the stars and the way my cheese curdles (tyromancy).


message 50: by Darwin8u (new)

Darwin8u | 46 comments Realistically, I won't come close to finishing Dickens this year. I really want to finish Proust and McCarthy too. I'm close enough with McCarthy to actually taste the cold finish and I'm pacing well with Mssr Proust. Dickens is a recent goal, so I'm more casual about what I will be able to do in 2013.


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