The Uncommercial Traveller

ISBN : 9780199686650

Charles Dickens; Daniel Tyler
440 Pages
135 x 202 mm
Pub date
Oct 2015
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  • A new edition of Dickens's journalistic sketches published under this title in their most complete form in 1890
  • A wonderful evocation of Victorian city life, the 37 essays combine reportage with reminiscence, infused with Dickens's personality
  • The only standalone edition of The Uncommercial Traveller with an introduction and notes and a newly edited text
  • Includes the eight original illustrations from the 1875 edition and a map of London
  • A lively and accessible introduction explores Dickens's fascination with London, his remarkable prose style, and inventive use of the 'Uncommercial' persona. Helpful notes explain unfamiliar literary and cultural references

At the height of his career, around the time he was working on Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens wrote a series of sketches, mostly set in London, which he collected as The Uncommercial Traveller. In the persona of 'the Uncommercial', Dickens wanders the city streets and brings London, its inhabitants, commerce and entertainment vividly to life. Sometimes autobiographical, as childhood experiences are interwoven with adult memories, the sketches include visits to the Paris Morgue, the Liverpool docks, a workhouse, a school for poor children, and the theatre. They also describe the perils of travel, including seasickness, shipwreck, the coming of the railways, and the wretchedness of dining in English hotels and restaurants. 
The work is quintessential Dickens, with each piece showcasing his imaginative writing style, his keen observational powers, and his characteristic wit. In this edition Daniel Tyler explores Dickens's fascination with the city and the book's connections with concerns evident in his fiction: social injustice, human mortality, a fascination with death and the passing of time. Often funny, sometimes indignant, always exuberant, The Uncommercial Traveller is a revelatory encounter with Dickens, and the Victorian city he knew so well.


Note on the Tet
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Charles Dickens
Map: Dickens's London
Appendix: Textual Variants
Exxplanatory Notes

About the author: 

Charles Dickens
Edited by Daniel Tyler, University of Oxford
Daniel Tyler has researched Dickens's creative processes through the manuscript drafts of his fiction. He is the author of A Guide to Dickens's London (Hesperus, 2012), and editor of Dickens's Style (CUP, 2013). He is a frequent reviewer for the TLS.

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