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A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land   By: (1830-1899)

Book cover

First Page:

A WEEK'S TRAMP

IN

DICKENS LAND

[Illustration: The Marshes, Cooling.]

A WEEK'S TRAMP

IN

DICKENS LAND

TOGETHER WITH

=Personal Reminiscences of the 'Inimitable Boz'=

THEREIN COLLECTED.

BY

WILLIAM R. HUGHES, F.L.S.

WITH MORE THAN A HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS BY F. G. KITTON AND OTHER ARTISTS.

LONDON: CHAPMAN & HALL, LIMITED. BOSTON: ESTES AND LAURIAT. 1891.

RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, LONDON & BUNGAY.

[ All Rights reserved. ]

TO

MY WIFE AND DAUGHTERS,

EMILY AND EDITH,

I DEDICATE

THIS RECORD OF "A WEEK'S TRAMP,"

TO REMIND THEM OF

THE MANY PLEASANT READINGS FROM DICKENS

WE HAVE ENJOYED TOGETHER

AT HOME.

PREFACE.

"'I should like to show you a series of eight articles, Sir, that have appeared in the Eatanswill Gazette. I think I may venture to say that you would not be long in establishing your opinions on a firm and solid basis, Sir.'

"'I dare say I should turn very blue long before I got to the end of them,' responded Bob.

"Mr. Pott looked dubiously at Bob Sawyer for some seconds, and turning to Mr. Pickwick said:

"'You have seen the literary articles which have appeared at intervals in the Eatanswill Gazette in the course of the last three months, and which have excited such general I may say such universal attention and admiration?'

"'Why,' replied Mr. Pickwick, slightly embarrassed by the question, 'the fact is, I have been so much engaged in other ways, that I really have not had an opportunity of perusing them.'

"'You should do so, Sir,' said Pott with a severe countenance.

"'I will,' said Mr. Pickwick.

"'They appeared in the form of a copious review of a work on Chinese metaphysics, Sir,' said Pott.

"'Oh,' observed Mr. Pickwick 'from your pen I hope?'

"'From the pen of my critic, Sir,' rejoined Pott with dignity.

"'An abstruse subject I should conceive,' said Mr. Pickwick.

"'Very, Sir,' responded Pott, looking intensely sage. 'He crammed for it, to use a technical but expressive term; he read up for the subject, at my desire, in the Encyclopædia Britannica .'

"'Indeed!' said Mr. Pickwick; 'I was not aware that that valuable work contained any information respecting Chinese metaphysics.'

"'He read, Sir,' rejoined Mr. Pott, laying his hand on Mr. Pickwick's knee, and looking round with a smile of intellectual superiority, 'he read for metaphysics under the letter M, and for China under the letter C; and combined his information, Sir!'

"Mr. Pott's features assumed so much additional grandeur at the recollection of the power and research displayed in the learned effusions in question, that some minutes elapsed before Mr. Pickwick felt emboldened to renew the conversation."

The above perennial extract from the immortal Pickwick Papers suggests to some extent the nature of the contents of this Volume. It is the record of a pilgrimage made by two enthusiastic Dickensians during the late summer of 1888, together with "combined information," not indeed "crammed" from the ninth edition just completed of the valuable work above referred to, but gathered mostly from original sources, respecting the places visited, the characters alluded to in some of the novels, personal reminiscences of their Author, appropriate passages from his works (for which acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Chapman and Hall), and some little mention of the thoughts developed by the associations of "Dickens Land."

Although the pilgrimage only extended to a week, and every spot referred to (save one) was actually visited during that time, it is but right to state that on three subsequent occasions the author has gone over the greater part of the same ground once in the early winter, when the blue clematis and the aster had given place to the yellow jasmine and the chrysanthemum; once in the early spring, when those had been succeeded by the almond blossom and the crocus; and again in the following year, when the beautiful county of Kent was rehabilitated in summer clothing, thus enabling him to verify observations, to correct possible errors arising from first impressions, and to gain new experiences... Continue reading book >>




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