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Dombey and Son
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Dombey and Son > Reading Schedule, and Preliminary Remarks

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Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Dear Curiosities,

I must confess that a few years ago, Dombey and Son was one of the few Dickens novels, along with Hard Times and The Old Curiosity Shop, that were least endearing to me. Maybe, this was because when I first read this novel, I was just not mature enough to appreciate it fully. It may be so because when I read it the second time - it happened in the old group, a few years ago -, I felt that I was drawn into a wonderfully complex and rich novel. On the one hand, the exuberant caricatures you encounter in Dickens's early novels play a lesser role here, but in exchange, Dickens gives you a bunch of nuanced and interesting characters. That's why I am looking forward very much to embarking on this wonderful tour of discovery with you again.

Here is our reading schedule for the next half year:

05/03 – 11/03 DS I, 1-4
12/03 – 18/03 DS II, 5-7
19/03 – 25/03 DS III, 8-10
26/03 – 01/04 DS IV, 11-13
02/04 – 08/04 DS V, 14-16
09/04 – 15/04 DS VI, 17-19
16/04 – 22/04 DS VII, 20-22
23/04 – 29/04 DS VIII, 23-25
30/04 – 06/05 DS IX, 26-28
07/05 – 13/05 DS X, 29-31
14/05 – 20/05 DS XI, 32-34
21/05 – 27/05 DS XII, 35-38
28/05 – 03/06 DS XIII, 39-41
04/06 – 10/06 DS XIV, 42-45
11/06 – 17/06 DS XV, 46-48
18/06 – 24/06 DS XVI, 49-51
25/06 – 01/07 DS XVII, 52-54
02/07 – 08/07 DS XVIII, 55-57
09/07 – 15/07 DS XIX, 58-60
16/07 – 22/07 DS XX, 61-62

I hope you will enjoy this novel as much as I did the last time I read it, and I now open this thread for preliminary remarks. By the way, before we start this major read, we moderators chose two short stories, partly to offer some variety, partly to give those of you who are still embroiled with Martin Chuzzlewit the opportunity to catch up. Rush is not worthy of a true Dickens fan, is it?


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
Tristram

Thanks for the schedule. It’s hard to imagine that D&S will be with us until July. Dombey is a delight. In my opinion, it is the most underrated of Dickens’s novels. I’m sure the Curiosities will enjoy exploring it together.


Linda | 363 comments Oh, Dombey brings back such great memories as it was the first Dickens novel that I read with the old group and where I met many of you lovely people here. :)

Kim, don’t fret. When I get some free time I will post a legible schedule for you. ;)


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John (jdourg) | 1054 comments I purchased and downloaded my Nook edition of Dombey and Son. The edition I purchased has the original artwork of Hablot Browne. I always prefer the versions that have it presented as readers originally experienced it.

The biographical studies I have of Dickens seem to say or imply that this was his first “serious” novel and the gateway book to the major thematic concerns of the final novels.


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Bobbie | 309 comments I am sorry to say that I believe I will have to delay Dombey and Son for awhile. I really am enjoying these group reads but I really must get some Non Dickens read for awhile. I will certainly join back in when I can. Thanks to all.


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
I'm waiting Linda. I attempted to read it a few days ago when Tristram sent it to Peter and I to see if we agreed with the schedule. It was giving me a headache so I gave up, told Tristram it was fine, and waited for you.


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "I'm waiting Linda. I attempted to read it a few days ago when Tristram sent it to Peter and I to see if we agreed with the schedule. It was giving me a headache so I gave up, told Tristram it was f..."

You see my strategy worked out fine ;-)


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Bobbie wrote: "I am sorry to say that I believe I will have to delay Dombey and Son for awhile. I really am enjoying these group reads but I really must get some Non Dickens read for awhile. I will certainly join..."

It's a pity, Bobbie, but I can understand that you want to concentrate on some other writers once in a while. Imagine somebody entirely living on lemon pie, which is, in itself, one of the most delicious dainties you can get. It wouldn't work, though.


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
John wrote: "I purchased and downloaded my Nook edition of Dombey and Son. The edition I purchased has the original artwork of Hablot Browne. I always prefer the versions that have it presented as readers origi..."

Yes, many people say that Dombey and Son marks the beginning of a new period in Dickens's writing - away from the more picaresque and episodic novels to the carefully-planned and "serious" (although I also thought Oliver Twist quite serious and grim in many chapters, and the same can be said of the debtors' prison chapters of such an early novel as Pickwick Papers) novels. For all I know, there is really a watershed in that the rather sloppy plodding of MC - just consider that the American episodes seem to have been thrown in quite randomly - will now be a thing of the past with Dickens.


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
Bobbie wrote: "I am sorry to say that I believe I will have to delay Dombey and Son for awhile. I really am enjoying these group reads but I really must get some Non Dickens read for awhile. I will certainly join..."

Bobbie

Enjoy your non-Dickens days. We’ll be here when you return.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I'm hoping - hoping - to join in again :)

It looks like we may be ships that pass in the night for a while Bobbie. Fortunately all of us know that real life kicks in sometimes, and as Peter so wisely says, the Old Curiosities will still be here!


message 12: by Bionic Jean (last edited Jan 27, 2020 01:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Which reminds me, I haven't been able to join in for the past 3 (I think) novels, though I have read them with you good folks before, of course, in "the other place". I've tried to keep up with general Dickens chat, and the shorter works. Now my oncologist has given me a break for a few months I hope to join in with the novels again.

I know Kim too has not been at all well, but has valiantly kept posting extra titbits, illustrations and other things for us when time and health allows - until her computer also started to feel unwell ...

Now you're posting, please will you be able to take your turn in the introductions to the threads of chapters for Dombey and Son, Kim, like you always used to do? I'm sure it's not just me who misses your unique take on Dickens. I used to look forward to them :) It's always good to have various styles.

Not pushing, of course - just a request, Kim :)


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 890 comments Martin C was getting a bit slow, so I took the opportunity to have triple by-pass surgery. After dickering with me for a week, they decided to do the surgery this past Tuesday -- stents being too boring a solution. Nothing like cracking open the chest to get the blood flowing again. I was out and home Saturday. I have to visit some pesty doctors, but I will pick up Martin C. tomorrow and continue where I left off. Nothing like a little dickens to fix what ails you.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh my - feel better Xan! May Dickens cheer you :)


Mary Lou | 2461 comments Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Martin C was getting a bit slow, so I took the opportunity to have triple by-pass surgery. After dickering with me for a week, they decided to do the surgery this past Tuesday -- stents being too b..."

Oh, Xan! I'm so glad you're okay, and came through your surgery with your sense of humor intact! It's a phrase I hate, but "listen to your body" and don't overdo it.


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Bobbie wrote: "I am sorry to say that I believe I will have to delay Dombey and Son for awhile. I really am enjoying these group reads but I really must get some Non Dickens read for awhile. I will certainly join..."

I'll miss you Bobbie. See you soon I hope!


message 17: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Martin C was getting a bit slow, so I took the opportunity to have triple by-pass surgery. After dickering with me for a week, they decided to do the surgery this past Tuesday -- stents being too b..."

The next time one of our books slows down couldn't you do something else like take a vacation, or start a new hobby?


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Bobbie | 309 comments Oh my, lots of physical problems it seems. I myself have had some back and hip issues and my husband has had some health issues, too, but we are both on the mend. So, hope you are all on the mend as well and I will miss you also. I will join in for the short stories coming up so I'll be around for a little while. Take care everyone.


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John (jdourg) | 1054 comments Tristram, regarding your comment about Dombey, I’m unable to select reply to when using the Goodreads app. But I was rereading Claire Tomalin’s biography of him and it did strike me that a general unhappiness about his visit to America really affected some of his writing during this phase. He was treated like royalty, but overwhelmed by having to shake hands with upwards of 500 people each day. My goodness. He loved Boston, but I don’t think the overall trip was a happy experience for him.


message 20: by Xan (last edited Jan 28, 2020 03:30AM) (new) - added it

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 890 comments I find funny things in everything. While admitted, and after surgery, I am told to walk walk walk. On my own. with a companion, a nurse, what ever. When I'm discharged, I'm told not to walk, they will wheel me out. Hospital policy.

They have given me a little pillow for my chest. I look like Linus from Peanuts. Imagine walking around in public like that.

They are recovery aggressive. I received a call last evening from Cardiac Care demanding my vitals. Then she asked me if I had been using my breathing exercises tube. When I told her I had left it at the hospital, I thought they were going to revoke my parole and send me back to holding.


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
Xan

Here’s hoping you are up and about ASAP. If you need extra exercise you could begin bench-pressing Dickens novels.

I am so glad your sense of humour was left intact. Walk, walk, walk. Perhaps you could refuse to use a wheelchair as you leave hospital. Make them chase you down the hall when you refuse.

Take care, my friend.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Kim wrote: "Bionic Jean wrote: "Thanks Jean, I'll talk to the other two mods and see what we come up with ..."

Well I know several of us will really look forward to it :)


message 23: by Bionic Jean (last edited Jan 28, 2020 05:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Xan - I echo all the posts here, and having a great sense of humour goes a long way in making you feel better. Great attitude :)

The hospital just want to keep you safe when you are discharged. Take it steady, and when you're home, you'll get more advice (and listen to your own body - it will tell you how much rest you need, as well).


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Xan,

I wish you all the best for your further recovery and am glad to hear that the operation went successfully! It's nice to have you back on board.


Jantine (eccentriclady) | 611 comments Xan, I agree with the others - I hope you will recover just right, and it's nice to have you back humour and all! Please just read some extra other books or something like that when Dickens is slow next time, that would be less scary ;-)


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Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 890 comments Thank you everyone. I feel a cough coming on. Man coughing sucks.


Linda | 363 comments I hope you have a speedy recovery, Xan!


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Hello Everyone!

Since we have already started discussing MC as a whole and since we moderators thought that too long a break between MC and the next read would be in no one's interests really, we thought that we might accelerate things and start reading the short stories a bit earlier, thus starting earlier with DS. This would be our new reading schedule, and we hope we are acting in your interests as well:

Reading Schedule

13/02 – 19/02 To Be Read at Dusk
20/02 – 26/02 The Signalman

27/02 – 04/03 DS I, 1-4
05/03 – 11/03 DS II, 5-7
12/03 – 18/03 DS III, 8-10
19/03 – 25/03 DS IV, 11-13
26/03 – 01/04 DS V, 14-16
02/04 – 08/04 DS VI, 17-19
09/04 – 15/04 DS VII, 20-22
16/04 – 22/04 DS VIII, 23-25
23/04 – 29/04 DS IX, 26-28
30/04 – 06/05 DS X, 29-31
07/05 – 13/05 DS XI, 32-34
14/05 – 20/05 DS XII, 35-38
21/05 – 27/05 DS XIII, 39-41
28/05 – 03/06 DS XIV, 42-45
04/06 – 10/06 DS XV, 46-48
11/06 – 17/06 DS XVI, 49-51
18/06 – 24/06 DS XVII, 52-54
25/06 – 01/07 DS XVIII, 55-57
02/07 – 08/07 DS XIX, 58-60
09/07 – 15/07 DS XX, 61-62


message 29: by John (new) - added it

John (jdourg) | 1054 comments Just from a standpoint of biographical studies I have read, Dombey and Son appears to rate highly. At the end of her study of Dickens, Jane Smiley recommended four primary works to read: David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend.

From what I can ascertain, some of his larger thematic concerns emerge in this work, and those appear to be societal impacts from industrialization. I think in this work, that may be the railroad, which at this phase of history was starting to become prevalent.


message 30: by Bobbie (last edited Feb 15, 2020 06:11AM) (new) - added it

Bobbie | 309 comments I am hearing such good things here about Dombey and Son so I am having second thoughts about joining in with this read. I do always manage to fit in some other reading as well so I believe I will join in, but not made a firm decision yet. I am getting my copy out and ready just in case.


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
John and Bobbie

Taste in books, like that of a favourite flavour of ice cream, is always personal. For me, Dombey and Son is an overlooked and under appreciated novel of Dickens.

Give it a try. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Bobbie wrote: "I am hearing such good things here about Dombey and Son so I am having second thoughts about joining in with this read. I do always manage to fit in some other reading as well so I believe I will j..."

Do join in, Bobby. After all, you are not subscribing to anything here :-)


Francis | 28 comments I am looking forward to participating in this reading and discussion. I couldn't get into Martin Chuzzelwit so I jumped ahead to Dombey.

I really like Dombey and Son.


Tristram Shandy | 4658 comments Mod
Francis, in liking "Dombey and Son" you are not alone here :-) I'm looking forward to your joining our discussions!


message 35: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 317 comments I like what I'm hearing about Dombey and Son, but I've been such a slacker with reading lately, I hope I can stay the course!

Okay, I just read the first paragraph of DS, and Dickens has already charmed me with his wit and imagery. If he keeps it up, I'm in good shape.


message 36: by Mary Lou (last edited Feb 23, 2020 06:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Lou | 2461 comments I'm sad to say that I'll be sitting Dombey out. Apparently it's time for a little break. Perhaps I'll use the opportunity to finally read some Eliot or Thackeray, glaring omissions on my reading list.

Let me know when you've moved on from the Blue Dragon and I'll hope to catch up for a spot of tea with you at .... the Bedford? The Royal?

Looking forward to joining up again for David Copperfield. "DONKEYS!"


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "I'm sad to say that I'll be sitting Dombey out. Apparently it's time for a little break. Perhaps I'll use the opportunity to finally read some Eliot or Thackeray, glaring omissions on my reading li..."

Hi Mary Lou

You will be missed, but as long as you keep reading you are really never far away. In case you have not read it, Eliot’s Middlemarch is a stunningly wonderful novel.

We will keep a seat for you wherever our next “local” is and look forward to seeing you and enjoying the donkeys together.

Peter


Jantine (eccentriclady) | 611 comments I'm sorry about that, Mary Lou, but sometimes it's needed. I agree with Peter, when you keep reading, you'll never be far away :-)


message 39: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "I'm sad to say that I'll be sitting Dombey out. Apparently it's time for a little break. Perhaps I'll use the opportunity to finally read some Eliot or Thackeray, glaring omissions on my reading li..."

Be back in time for David Copperfield, it's one of my favorites. While you're taking a break, why don't you come and visit me in person? We can't be that far apart, can we? My stepson lives in Fredrick and it takes us about two hours to get there.


Mary Lou | 2461 comments Kim wrote: "While you're taking a break, why don't you come and visit me in person? We can't be that far apart, can we? My stepson lives in Fredrick and it takes us about two hours to get there...."

I would love to get together sometime, Kim. If you get to Frederick before I get up to the Harrisburg area, let me know. Now that my daughter's overseas, I don't travel that way very often anymore. We should meet at one of the diners in Dillsburg which would probably be about the halfway point between us. Xan isn't too far away - he should join us!


message 41: by Kylie (new) - added it

Kylie (mspurrl) Hi, I’m looking forward to joining you in reading DS, which will be my first read along with this group. Is David Copperfield the next? I have read it before, it will be a delight to catch up with Aunt Betsey Trotwood again 😊


message 42: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Kylie wrote: "Hi, I’m looking forward to joining you in reading DS, which will be my first read along with this group. Is David Copperfield the next? I have read it before, it will be a delight to catch up with ..."

Hi Kylie, I'm glad you'll be joining us, and yes, David Copperfield will be the next read after Dombey. It should be a fun time!


message 43: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Kim wrote: "While you're taking a break, why don't you come and visit me in person? We can't be that far apart, can we? My stepson lives in Fredrick and it takes us about two hours to get there......."

Anyone near us should join us. I wasn't very far from Dillsburg one day last week, I can never think of Dillsburg without thinking of them dropping a pickle on New Year's Eve.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I love it! A real life Dickensian meet-up :)


Peter | 3209 comments Mod
Kylie wrote: "Hi, I’m looking forward to joining you in reading DS, which will be my first read along with this group. Is David Copperfield the next? I have read it before, it will be a delight to catch up with ..."

Hi Kylie

Yes indeed. Dombey then David. A great lineup. Please join us.


message 46: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 317 comments Mary Lou wrote: "I'm sad to say that I'll be sitting Dombey out. Apparently it's time for a little break. Perhaps I'll use the opportunity to finally read some Eliot or Thackeray, glaring omissions on my reading li..."

I'll miss you, Mary Lou, and your insightful comments. I can relate to needing a break, though. Just took one myself this winter. I look forward to David Copperfield too. It will be my first "mature" Dickens (besides Great Expectations, which I read in high school and have total amnesia of.)

I'll be joining the Dombey and Son discussion! I read several chapters to get a good start. So far, I like it. There's some sad/heavy stuff though making me feel bad for both Dombey kids. Screwed up family stuff that Dickens is good at portraying. This is my first read of Dombey.


message 47: by Kirsten (new) - added it

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Hi! I'm a little late to the party...

I have to say I'd never heard of this Dickens before now, but I am quite enjoying it.


Jantine (eccentriclady) | 611 comments Welcome to the party!
I'm very glad to hear you are enjoying D&S so much :-D


message 49: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Welcome to the party Kirsten. Good news, it's Peter's turn to bring the party food this week! :-)


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