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The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens
By: (1812-1870)

In this collection of sketches, Charles Dickens takes readers on a journey through the streets of London, offering glimpses into the lives of its residents. From the struggles of the poor to the eccentricities of the wealthy, Dickens skillfully weaves together a tapestry of characters and experiences that paint a vivid portrait of urban life in the 19th century.

One of the standout qualities of this book is Dickens' keen eye for detail and his ability to capture the essence of each individual he encounters. Through his observations and interactions, he brings to life a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique story to tell. From the heart-wrenching tales of poverty and hardship to the humorous anecdotes of everyday life, Dickens shows a deep empathy and understanding for his fellow man.

While some of the sketches may feel a bit dated and unfamiliar to modern readers, the universal themes of human connection, struggle, and resilience still resonate strongly today. Overall, The Uncommercial Traveller is a compelling and insightful look into the lives of ordinary people, told with Dickens' signature blend of wit, humor, and compassion.

Book Description:
The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round and the Uncommercial Traveller articles would be among his main contributions. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave on the 22 December 1859 to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain. He does not seem content to rest late in his career when he had attained wealth and comfort and continued travelling locally, walking the streets of London in the mould of the flâneur, a 'gentleman stroller of city streets'. He often suffered from insomnia and his night-time wanderings gave him an insight into some of the hidden aspects of Victorian London, details of which he also incorporated into his novels.

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