The Oxford Edition of Charles Dickens: Sketches by Boz

ISBN : 9780199261963

Charles Dickens; Paul Schlicke; David Hewitt
912 ページ
138 x 216 mm
  • A new text which recovers the sketches as they first appeared
  • Presents a comprehensive and systematic annotation, with a glossary and maps
  • The edition brings out the social relevance of Dickens's earliest published works, and his linguistic inventiveness
  • A comprehensive history of the evolution of the text in Dickens's lifetime, enabling readers to see, for the first time, the ways in which he was steadily re-presenting himself for a more genteel age

Sketches by Boz, the first volume of the new Oxford Dickens, was also the title of Dickens's first book. It is a collection of sixty pieces, mostly humorous although there is nothing funny about 'A Visit to Newgate', which first appeared as contributions to magazines and newspapers in the mid 1830s. They are distinguished by his sharp and often satirical observation of social situations and London characters; but, with one exception, they are works of fiction. Fourteen can be described as short stories, but most are sketches presented to us as reportage. They show why Dickens was recognised as a brilliant new talent from the outset of his career.
In the absence of any manuscripts, the text of each piece (with one exception) is based upon the first published version. They offer Dickens as he appeared to his very first readers in the mid 1830s, and as he has not been seen since. Dickens edited later editions, cutting contemporary references, oaths and sexual innuendo. The consequence of reading Dickens as he was is startling, for these pieces both offer a direct reflection of the social scene in London of the period, and have a raciness which Dickens excised from later printings. This work rediscovers the young Dickens.


Sketches by Boz
Essay on the Text
Textual Witnesses
Textual Notes
Explanatory Notes
Index of Bridges, Building, Places, and Streets


Charles Dickens
Edited by Paul Schlicke, University of Aberdeen, and David Hewitt, University of Aberdeen
Paul Schlicke has been Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen since 1989. Born in the United States, he took his BA from Stanford University, and his PhD from the University of California, San Diego, where he was a National Defense Education Act Fellow. He is general editor of the Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens (1999), author of Dickens and Popular Entertainment (1985), compiler of the Dickens entry for the 3rd edition of the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (1999) and co-compiler of The Old Curiosity Shop: An Annotated Bibliography (1988). He has edited Hard Times (1989) and Nicholas Nickleby (1990) for Oxford World's Classics, The Old Curiosity Shop (1995) for Everyman, and The Pickwick Papers for British Heritage Database (2002), and published numerous articles in the Dickensian, Dickens Quarterly, Studies in English Literature, and Dickens Studies Annual.
David Hewitt comes from the Scottish Borders; he took his undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh and his PhD in Aberdeen with a thesis entitled 'Walter Scott and Society'. His whole academic career was spent at the University of Aberdeen, where he finished as the Regius Chalmers Professor of English Literature, a chair originally created for another great textual editor, Sir Herbert Grierson. His major work was as editor-in-chief of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, which appeared in thirty over twenty years from 1993 to 2012.