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Martin Chuzzlewit
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The Dickens Project - Archives > Martin Chuzzlewit, The Reading Schedule

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message 1: by Zulfiya (last edited Dec 23, 2012 11:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Well, I trust you are all in a very cheerful mood, especially in the light of our upcoming new and exciting reads. One of the permanent feature of our group is the Dickens project, and it is this time again. Here is a tentative schedule for our next novel. To tell the truth, I read the novel 10-12 years ago, and I vaguely remember the plot and the names of the characters, but my main memory is the pleasant aftertaste - the book is sparkling with humor, and some of the scenes are truly phenomenal - I remember laughing and re-reading the same chapters and passages over and over again. There will be a slight anti-American stand (he is Dickens, after all), but I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the novel as much I did more than a decade ago. I am looking forward to entering the same river twice because it is one of my Dickens' favorites; so rest assured, I am going to re-read every chapter and every word of this novel and there will be some moments of verbal relish and emotional pleasure!

Back to the reading business. I know that most of the participants are usually over-read, over-committed to other projects, and unfortunately under-timed; thus, I am using our old strategy - 50-60 pages a week. Business as usual here.
Here is the tentative schedule. I propose to start after the first two weeks of January when some of us - I am not an exception - will be seriously involved into the discussion of The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins to avoid the reading crash scenario:-)


Week 1. 01/14 - 01/20 - Chapters 1-3
Week 2. 01/21 - 01/27 - Chapters 4-6
Week 3. 01/28 - 02/03 - Chapters 7-9
Week 4. 02/04 - 02/10 - Chapters 10-12
Week 5. 02/11 - 02/17 - Chapters 13-15
Week 6. 02/18 - 02/24 - Chapters 16-18
Week 7. 02/25 - 03/03 - Chapters 19-22
Week 8. 03/04 - 03/10 - Chapters 23-26
Week 9. 03/11 - 03/17 - Chapters 27-30
Week 10. 03/18 - 03/24 - Chapters 31-33
Week 11. 03/25 - 03/31 - Chapters 34-38
Week 12. 04/01 - 04/07 - Chapters 39-42
Week 13. 04/08 - 04/14 - Chapters 43-45
Week 14. 04/15 - 04/21 - Chapters 46-49
Week 15. 04/22 - 04/28 - Chapters 50-54

The novel is chunky, but again, nothing is new here - it is Dickens we are talking about:-)
Anyway, it goes without saying that the schedule is flexible and can be subject to changes if the group decides to speed up. Please post your thoughts about the schedule.

I know that there are a number of editions and formats available nowadays, but for the above-listed reading schedule I used this edition Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens . Happy reading, everybody!


Lynnm | 3027 comments Bought the ebook yesterday - looking forward to starting!


message 3: by Cynthia (new) - added it

Cynthia Dunn I'm glad you've waited until the 14th to start. That will give me some time to work on The Brothers K. I'm really excited about this.


message 4: by Robin P, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
Looking forward to it, I started it in a literature class but we also had Little Dorrit and I knew I couldn't finish both, not sure why I opted for the latter, this would have been more fun.
I had found one DVD volume Dickens dramas including Barnaby Rudge and recently got the other that includes Chuzzlewit so I can watch along with reading.


Sarah | 269 comments I am really excited about this; I have wanted to join in on the current Dickens discussion, but I haven't had time, so I am looking forward to this one! :-) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!


Hedi | 978 comments Thanks, Zulfiya, and Happy Holidays!
I am already looking forward to this read. Starting on the 14th sounds great.


message 7: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny | 57 comments I've been out of the Good Reads loop for awhile, so I'm looking forward to joining with this read. The slower schedule sounds good as I'm hoping to follow Woman in White as well. Happy Holiday and looking forward to January discussions.


message 8: by Katrina (new)

Katrina (katrinasreads) I'll be joining in with this, I have the ebook in preparation, hopefully The Brothers Karamazov will be over by then but I'll be reading this and Anna Karenina at the same time which will be a bit of a juggle.


message 9: by MadgeUK (last edited Dec 26, 2012 12:18AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments It will be interesting to read MC with Americans because Dickens was a bit scathing about them at the time.

I often buy the Wordsworth editions of the classics because although they are cheap, they always have good academic notes and glossaries. Are they available in the US?


Lynnm | 3027 comments I hope that he's not too nasty about Americans. I love Dickens and don't want to dislike him, even momentarily.

I know Dickens had a bee in his bonnet over copyright issues in America, but I can't imagine that would be the only reason for his negative take on the U.S.

I love everything British...except their tendency to disparage Americans whenever they can. I find it so very odd. Where does it come from?


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Garrett (amandaelizabeth1) | 154 comments Lynnm wrote: "I hope that he's not too nasty about Americans. I love Dickens and don't want to dislike him, even momentarily.

I know Dickens had a bee in his bonnet over copyright issues in America, but I can't..."


Dickens came here to Ohio during his first American visit. His descriptions were to say the least not flattering.

Despite that, there is a mini-tourism industry around some of the places he visited. Lebanon, a town in southern Ohio, has an entire Dickens industry with English themed shops and a yearly Christmas festival.

Dickens stayed at the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon. He found the food appalling and the service terrible, but the Inn's proprietors still advertise Dickens as their most illustrious guest :)


message 12: by Zulfiya (last edited Dec 26, 2012 07:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Lynnm wrote: "I hope that he's not too nasty about Americans. I love Dickens and don't want to dislike him, even momentarily.

I know Dickens had a bee in his bonnet over copyright issues in America, but I can't..."


I believe it is the only novel with this motif:-) One novel only. Besides, if my memory serves me right, it is only a small part of the novel. Please, do not get discouraged!


message 13: by Julie (last edited Dec 26, 2012 07:33PM) (new)

Julie (readerjules) He's an interesting article on the subject
http://charlesdickenspage.com/america...
He criticized slavery and chewing tobacco in america. I can't really blame him for that!


message 14: by MadgeUK (last edited Jan 03, 2013 10:24AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments 'Not only did Dickens attack slavery in American Notes, he also attacked the American press whom he blamed for the American's lack of general information.'

The Press hasn't changed much then:D


Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Julie wrote: "He's an interesting article on the subject
http://charlesdickenspage.com/america...
He criticized slavery and chewing tobacco in america. I can't really blame him for that!"


An interesting and well-researched article. Thank you, Julie! More reasons to enjoy and savor our upcoming group read.


message 16: by Lynnm (last edited Dec 27, 2012 04:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynnm | 3027 comments No, definitely can't blame him for criticizing slavery! He joins the many American authors who did the same.

But only some of the press. I refuse to blame the press as a whole - that's unfair. There have been great journalists who have done important work. And the British press is just as bad.


message 17: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments True - our tabloid press is very bad indeed.


message 18: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura | 16 comments I'll join this book discussion.


message 19: by Robin P, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robin P | 2224 comments Mod
As a preview, my edition of Martin Chuzzlewit has both a preface and an author's note to a later edition. In the latter, Dickens says how much America had improved when he visited a 2nd time, how much he appreciated the Americans and that because of that he was adding this note to further editions. Of course, on Dickens' later visit he was a famous author, so that could have changed his reception. And he certainly had plenty of criticism and mockery of English custom in his other books.


message 20: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments The BBC made a documentary a couple of years ago featuring the well known character actress Miriam Margoyles travelling the routes which Dickens took in America:-

http://www.liontv.com/Scotland/Produc...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBSMqO...

There are some interesting snippets about the trips here:-

http://charlesdickenspage.com/america...


Danielle | 6 comments MadgeUK wrote: "The BBC made a documentary a couple of years ago featuring the well known character actress Miriam Margoyles travelling the routes which Dickens took in America:-

http://www.liontv.com/Scotland/Pr..."


Miriam Margoyles makes the documentary sound such a promissing document. Do we have to buy the DVD so as to view it?, thank again for your invaluable references.


Sarah | 269 comments Here is a YouTube video of Martin Chuzzlewit episode one, part one of five. I haven't watched it because I want to read the novel first, but the opening looked promising. I'm not sure how closely it will follow the book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeA1G6...


Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Sarah wrote: "Here is a YouTube video of Martin Chuzzlewit episode one, part one of five. I haven't watched it because I want to read the novel first, but the opening looked promising. I'm not sure how closely i..."

After the books is read and discussed:-)


message 24: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) I'm hoping to join in this read and keep up with the schedule. I've read many Dickens novels in the past, some more than once, but I haven't had much taste for Dickens for the last several years... not sure why. However, MC may break this cycle, it looks promising. And I have no problem with Dickens criticising America -- some of the best minds have, a lot of them Americans :).


Shannon (sls4585) | 3 comments I'm hoping to join in this discussion. I have been following along with most of the previous books to some extent, but keep falling behind schedule.


Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Thank you, Shannon! I hope this time the daily circumstances will be favorable. I am a person with the habit of procrastination, and daily circumstances and a certain routine are vital. But it's me - I am quite undisciplined:-)


Lauri | 32 comments I have been following the Dickens project diligently - it is truly one of the most enjoyable internet experience I have ever had. New Year's resolution is to be a participant instead of just following in the background. Zulfiya, you make it sound like the best one so far, I am so excited to start!


Zulfiya (ztrotter) | 1596 comments Lauri wrote: "I have been following the Dickens project diligently - it is truly one of the most enjoyable internet experience I have ever had. New Year's resolution is to be a participant instead of just follo..."

It is definitely entertaining and hilarious. Occasionally the plot drags, but when you have a chunkster written on a monthly basis, it is understandable and redeemable. After all, some parts are fabulous and phenomenal:-)


Kathy Nealen I just read the first chapter last night and found it hilarious!


message 30: by Hedi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hedi | 978 comments I found it hilarious, too, and cannot wait to continue our literary journey. :-)


message 31: by Karen (new)

Karen (granuaille) | 22 comments I have started MC yesterday - with some trepidation. BR was a bit of a slog for me in the end, although I really enjoyed the beginning. I think Dickens deserves to be read early in the day, rather than late at night - so that is what I will try to do.

I totally agree with Lauri that this is one of the best internet experiences. Although lately I am hooked on Scrabble.
I look forward to the discussions. Thank you all, especially Zulfiya.


Lynnm | 3027 comments Lauri wrote: "I have been following the Dickens project diligently - it is truly one of the most enjoyable internet experience I have ever had. New Year's resolution is to be a participant instead of just follo..."

I agree - the Dickens Project has really been enjoyable. I loved Dickens when I was younger, and feel as if I have rediscovered him.


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