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Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices   By: (1812-1870)

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In "Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices," Charles Dickens takes readers on a delightful journey through the picturesque landscape of the English countryside. Co-authored with his close friend Wilkie Collins, this travelogue offers a charming insight into the minds of two idle apprentices, as they embark on a meandering tour that is as much about self-discovery as it is about leisurely exploration.

Dickens and Collins seamlessly blend their distinct writing styles, creating a narrative that effortlessly transports readers into the heart of each location they visit. Through their descriptive prose, they paint vivid scenes of quaint villages, rolling hills, and serene rivers, evoking a sense of both awe and tranquility. The authors' evident love for the English countryside is palpable in their meticulous attention to detail, making the landscapes come alive and inviting readers to wander alongside them.

Beyond the picturesque settings, the true charm of this book lies in the dynamic between its two protagonists. Dickens and Collins present themselves as the "Idle Apprentices," sharing anecdotes and engaging in light-hearted banter throughout the journey. Their playful camaraderie adds a whimsical element to the narrative, infusing it with warmth and humor. Moreover, their observations on the people they encounter and the situations they find themselves in offer profound insights into human nature and societal norms.

The narrative structure of this travelogue is unique, with each author taking turns to share their perspective on the journey. Dickens' style is infused with his signature wit and social commentary, while Collins' writing is marked by a keen eye for mystery and suspense. This interplay of writing styles provides an engaging and dynamic reading experience, where each author brings their own strengths to the forefront, contributing to the overall richness of the narrative.

As Dickens and Collins traverse the countryside, they encounter a diverse cast of characters, from innkeepers and fellow travelers to local villagers. These encounters serve as microcosms of the human experience, allowing the authors to explore various themes, such as class divides, social injustices, and the power of imagination. Through their interactions, the authors shed light on the complexities of Victorian society, reflecting upon the stark disparities between different social classes and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

"Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices" is a testament to the power of observation, friendship, and the joy of leisurely exploration. It offers a refreshing departure from the weightier works of Dickens and Collins, showcasing their lighter sides and revealing their shared love for the simple pleasures of life. With its evocative descriptions, witty dialogues, and insightful observations, this travelogue provides a delightful escape into a world where idleness and curiosity intertwine, and where the beauty of the English countryside serves as a backdrop for profound reflections on the human condition.

First Page:



In the autumn month of September, eighteen hundred and fifty seven, wherein these presents bear date, two idle apprentices, exhausted by the long, hot summer, and the long, hot work it had brought with it, ran away from their employer. They were bound to a highly meritorious lady (named Literature), of fair credit and repute, though, it must be acknowledged, not quite so highly esteemed in the City as she might be. This is the more remarkable, as there is nothing against the respectable lady in that quarter, but quite the contrary; her family having rendered eminent service to many famous citizens of London. It may be sufficient to name Sir William Walworth, Lord Mayor under King Richard II., at the time of Wat Tyler's insurrection, and Sir Richard Whittington: which latter distinguished man and magistrate was doubtless indebted to the lady's family for the gift of his celebrated cat. There is also strong reason to suppose that they rang the Highgate bells for him with their own hands.

The misguided young men who thus shirked their duty to the mistress from whom they had received many favours, were actuated by the low idea of making a perfectly idle trip, in any direction. They had no intention of going anywhere in particular; they wanted to see nothing, they wanted to know nothing, they wanted to learn nothing, they wanted to do nothing... Continue reading book >>

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