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Dickens English Men of Letters   By: (1837-1924)

Dickens English Men of Letters by Adolphus William Ward

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English Men of Letters

EDITED BY JOHN MORLEY

DICKENS

BY ADOLPHUS WILLIAM WARD

NEW YORK HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS FRANKLIN SQUARE

ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS.

EDITED BY JOHN MORLEY.

JOHNSON Leslie Stephen. GIBBON J. C. Morison. SCOTT R. H. Hutton. SHELLEY J. A. Symonds. HUME T. H. Huxley. GOLDSMITH William Black. DEFOE William Minto. BURNS J. C. Shairp. SPENSER R. W. Church. THACKERAY Anthony Trollope. BURKE John Morley. MILTON Mark Pattison. HAWTHORNE Henry James, Jr. SOUTHEY E. Dowden. CHAUCER A. W. Ward. BUNYAN J. A. Froude. COWPER Goldwin Smith. POPE Leslie Stephen. BYRON John Nichol. LOCKE Thomas Fowler. WORDSWORTH F. Myers. DRYDEN G. Saintsbury. LANDOR Sidney Colvin. DE QUINCEY David Masson. LAMB Alfred Ainger. BENTLEY R. C. Jebb. DICKENS A. W. Ward. GRAY E. W. Gosse. SWIFT Leslie Stephen. STERNE H. D. Traill. MACAULAY J. Cotter Morison. FIELDING Austin Dobson. SHERIDAN Mrs. Oliphant. ADDISON W. J. Courthope. BACON R. W. Church. COLERIDGE H. D. Traill. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY J. A. Symonds. KEATS Sidney Colvin.

12mo, Cloth, 75 cents per volume.

Other volumes in preparation.

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.

Any of the above works will be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States or Canada, on receipt of the price.

PREFACE.

At the close of a letter addressed by Dickens to his friend John Forster, but not to be found in the English editions of the Life , the writer adds to his praises of the biography of Goldsmith these memorable words: "I desire no better for my fame, when my personal dustiness shall be past the control of my love of order, than such a biographer and such a critic." Dickens was a man of few close friendships "his breast," he said, "would not hold many people" but, of these friendships, that with Forster was one of the earliest, as it was one of the most enduring. To Dickens, at least, his future biographer must have been the embodiment of two qualities rarely combined in equal measure discretion and candour. In literary matters his advice was taken almost as often as it was given, and nearly every proof sheet of nearly every work of Dickens passed through his faithful helpmate's hands. Nor were there many important decisions formed by Dickens concerning himself in the course of his manhood to which Forster was a stranger, though, unhappily, he more than once counselled in vain.

On Mr. Forster's Life of Charles Dickens , together with the three volumes of Letters collected by Dickens's eldest daughter and his sister in law his "dearest and best friend" it is superfluous to state that the biographical portion of the following essay is mainly based. It may be superfluous, but it cannot be considered impertinent, if I add that the shortcomings of the Life have, in my opinion, been more frequently proclaimed than defined; and that its merits are those of its author as well as of its subject.

My sincere thanks are due for various favours shown to me in connexion with the production of this little volume by Miss Hogarth, Mr. Charles Dickens, Professor Henry Morley, Mr. Alexander Ireland, Mr. John Evans, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Britton. Mr. Evans has kindly enabled me to correct some inaccuracies in Mr. Forster's account of Dickens's early Chatham days on unimpeachable first hand evidence... Continue reading book >>




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