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Dickens at 200: 1812–2012

An exhibition in Special Collections

curated by
Jaime Margalotti

Influences & Collaborators

Tobias George Smollet.

The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle: in Which are Included, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. London: Printed for C. Cooke ..., [1794].

Henry Fielding.

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. London: Printed for C. Cooke, [1792].

Henry Fielding (1707–1754) was one of the early innovators of the novel format, often utilizing humor and the picaresque rogue who succeeds through his own cleverness. Dickens so admired him that he named his eighth child after the author. Although less well–known to modern audiences, Tobias Smollet (1721–1771) also inspired Dickens with his satiric picaresque tales.

Wilkie Collins.

The Woman in White. London: Sampson Low, 1860.

Dickens often collaborated with his literary friends on writing projects and amateur theatrics. One of his closest friends was Wilkie Collins (1824–1889) who looked to Dickens as a mentor. His novel The Woman in White appeared in serialized form in Dickens’s journal All the Year Round.

Charles Dickens.

A House to Let. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson, [186–?].

Although this printing of A House to Let is attributed to Charles Dickens alone, it was one of several works in which Dickens collaborated with other authors. In this instance, Dickens, Collins, Procter, and Elizabeth Gaskell all submitted chapters which were then edited by Dickens. The work was originally published in the 1858 Christmas edition of Dickens’s Household Words magazine.

Adelaide Anne Procter

Legends and Lyrics: a Book of Verses. With an introduction by Charles Dickens. London: G. Bell, 1888.

Adelaide Anne Procter’s (1825–1864) poems also appeared in Dickens’s publications. She shared Dickens interest in improving the lives of the poor and was vigorously involved in charity work. Her poetry reflects this central interest. Dickens wrote the introduction to her collection, Legends and Lyrics.

William Hogarth

“Gin Lane.” Engraving, hand–colored (added later), 1751.

Hogarth engraved “Gin Lane” and its companion piece, “Beer Street,” to sway public opinion in favor of the Gin Act of 1751, regulating the sale of the spirit as to greatly reduce its availability. Charles Dickens greatly admired Hogarth, agreeing with his position that poverty, not the gin itself, was the true danger to society. He toured the slums of St. Giles, seeing them as a real life “Gin Lane” and describing their desolation in Sketches by Boz and the journal Household Words.

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