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The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I   By: (1806-1872)

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In Charles James Lever's The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I, readers are taken on a delightful and humorous journey across Europe with the eccentric and endearing Dodd family.

The novel centers around the misadventures of Mr. Dodd, a retired British merchant, and his colorful family as they travel through France, Switzerland, and Italy. Lever beautifully captures the essence of each destination, painting vivid pictures of the landscapes, local customs, and unique characters they encounter along the way.

One of the notable strengths of Lever's writing is his ability to create distinct and memorable personalities. From the boisterous and easily excitable Mr. Dodd to his opinionated and sharp-tongued wife, Mrs. Dodd, the characters are relatable and lovable despite their flaws. Their children, Miss Peppard and Master Paul, bring youthful enthusiasm and naiveté to the story, often leading to comical escapades that keep readers entertained.

Lever's wit and humor shine throughout the narrative, effortlessly weaving in clever wordplay, satirical observations, and amusing anecdotes. The author's ability to balance light-hearted humor with moments of genuine emotion allows readers to form a deeper connection with the characters and their experiences.

Moreover, Lever's attention to detail and his knack for capturing the idiosyncrasies of the various European cultures add depth to the story. Whether describing the bustling streets of Paris or the tranquil beauty of the Swiss Alps, his vivid descriptions transport readers to each location, making them feel like they are part of the Dodd family's journey.

The plot itself is simple, chronicling the Dodds' travels, their encounters with fellow travelers, and the challenges they face as a family. While there are no major conflicts or dramatic twists, the charm of the characters and the author's skillful storytelling keep the narrative engaging from start to finish.

If there's one criticism to be made, it is that some readers may find the slow pacing and occasional tangents distracting. However, for those who appreciate character-driven narratives and a lighthearted exploration of different cultures, these minor detours only add to the charm of the story.

In conclusion, The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I is a delightful and humorous travelogue that takes readers on a captivating European adventure. Charles James Lever's vivid characters, clever writing, and attention to cultural nuances make this novel a delightful read for anyone seeking a light-hearted and entertaining journey abroad.

First Page:


By Charles James Lever

With Illustrations By Phiz And W. Cubitt Cooke.

In Two Volumes: Vol. I.

Boston: Little, Brown, And Company



My Dear Sir Edward, While asking you to accept the dedication of this volume, I feel it would be something very nigh akin to the Bathos were I to say one word of Eulogy of those powers which the world has recognised in you .

Let me, however, be permitted, in common with thousands, to welcome the higher development which your Genius is hourly attaining, to say God speed to the Author of "The Caxtons" and "My Novel," and cry "Hear!" to the Eloquent Orator whose words have awakened an enthusiasm that shows Chivalry still lives amongst us.

Believe me, in all admiration and esteem,

Your faithful friend,


Casa Capponi, Florence, March, 1854.


Although the faulty judgment of authors on their own productions has assumed something like the force of a proverb, I am ready to incur the hazard of avowing that the present volume is, to my own thinking, better than anything else I have done. I am not about to defend its numerous shortcomings and great faults. I will not say one word in extenuation of a plan which, to many readers, forms an insuperable objection, that of a story in letters... Continue reading book >>

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