Charles Dickens, Jr.

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Charles Dickens, Jr, born Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (6 January 1837 – July 20, 1896[1]), was the first child of the English novelist Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine. A failed businessman, he became the editor of his father's magazine All the Year Round, and a successful writer of dictionaries. He is now most remembered for his two 1879 books Dickens's Dictionary of London and Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames.

Biography[edit]

In 1837, Charles Dickens, Jr was born on 6 January, the first child of the English novelist Charles Dickens and his then-wife Catherine Dickens née Hogarth.[2] He was called "Charley" by family and friends. In 1847, aged 10, he entered the junior department of King's College, London.[3] He went to Eton College, and studied business in Germany.[4] In 1855, aged 18, he entered Barings Bank.[5] In 1858, after his parents' separation, he was the only child to live with his mother.[4] In 1861 he married Bessie Evans (Elisabeth Matilda Moule Evans, daughter of Frederick Evans, his father's former publisher with whom he had had a falling out).[4] They had 8 children:[6]

  • Mary Angela (1862–1948)
  • Ethel Kate (1864–1936)
  • Charles Walter (1865–1923)
  • Sydney Margaret (1866–1955)
  • Dorothy Gertrude (1868–1923)
  • Beatrice (1869–1937)
  • Cecil Mary (1871–1952)
  • Evelyn Bessie (1873–1924)

In 1866 he was appointed as the first Honorary Secretary of the Metropolitan Regatta[7] In 1869, aged 32,[5] after a failed business venture, he was hired by Dickens Sr as sub-editor of All the Year Round.[4] In 1870, after his father's death, Dickens Jr inherited the magazine and became its editor. At this time he also bought at auction Gads Hill Place, his father's Kent home, but he was forced to give it up in 1879 because of his own ill-health.[8]

He wrote the introductions to many posthumous reprints of his father's books, such as Barnaby Rudge and Little Dorrit, providing biographical and bibliographical insights.

In 1879 he published (jointly with his father-in-law) the first editions of his two main dictionaries, Dickens's Dictionary of London and Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames. In 1882 his dictionaries were picked up by Macmillan & Co. who also released his third dictionary, Dickens's Dictionary of Paris, delayed by verifications explained in its introduction.[9][10]

Charles Dickens Jr died of leukemia in 1896, aged 59. He was buried on the same day as his younger sister Mary Dickens.

Bibliography[edit]

His publications include:

  • 1879 – The Life of Charles James Mathews, 2 vols. ("chiefly autobiographical" about Charles James Mathews, edited "with selections from his correspondence and speeches")[5][11]
  • 1879 – Dickens's Dictionary of London (yearly reeditions until 1896)
  • 1879 – Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames (yearly reeditions until 1896)
  • 1882 – Dickens's Dictionary of Paris (reeditions, probably yearly, until at least 1889,[12] possibly until 1896)
  • John Jasper's Secret: Sequel to Charles Dickens' Mystery of Edwin Drood, with Wilkie Collins. (The currently in-print edition is 1898)

Dickens's Dictionary of London[edit]

Charles Dickens Jr

Dickens's Dictionary of London: An Unconventional Handbook is the main book of Charles Dickens, Jr. It was first published in London in 1879, by "Charles Dickens and Evans" (Dickens Jr and his father-in-law, publisher Frederick Evans).

The book was then updated and reprinted every year until the author's death, from 1880 (second year) to the final 1896–1897 edition (eighteenth year). His dictionaries had been picked up in 1882 by Macmillan & Co. who printed them until 1889, after which it was again published by Dickens and Evans through J. Smith.[13]

In 1972, a facsimile of the 1879 edition was reprinted by Howard Baker Press (London), under the title Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879: An Unconventional Handbook, ISBN 0-7030-0018-7.[12]

Since 1993, a facsimile of the 1888 edition is reprinted by Old House Books (Devon), under the title Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1888: An Unconventional Handbook, ISBN 1-873590-04-0 (it is unclear whether the 1888 edition was chosen for its connection with the year of Jack the Ripper, or if the later editions were considered inferior). The book was still in print as of 2007.[14]

Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames[edit]

Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, From Oxford to the Nore: An Unconventional Handbook is the second book of Charles Dickens, Jr. The "1880" edition was first published in London in 1879, by "Charles Dickens and Evans" (Dickens Jr and his father-in-law, publisher Frederick Evans). The next 1880 edition and further were slightly retitled to Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, From Its Source to the Nore: An Unconventional Handbook.

The book was then updated and reprinted every year until the author's death, from 1880 to the final 1896 edition. His dictionaries had been picked up in 1882 by Macmillan & Co. who printed them until 1889, after which it was again published by Dickens and Evans through J. Smith.[15]

In 1972, a facsimile of the 1893 edition was reprinted by Taurus Press (Oxford), under the title Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1893: An Unconventional Handbook With Maps, ISBN 0-903456-00-1.[16]

Since 1994, a facsimile of the 1887 edition is reprinted by Old House Books (Devon), under the title Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1887: An Unconventional Handbook, ISBN 1-873590-12-1(it is unclear whether the 1887 edition was chosen for its close connection with the year of Jack the Ripper, or if the later editions were considered inferior). The book was still in print as of 2007.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources consulted
Endnotes
  1. ^ Dickens's grave on Find A Grave
  2. ^ Dickens Family Tree website
  3. ^ Banerjee, Jacqueline (5 February 2007 revision). "The University of London and Its Boys' Schools". Victorian Web. Archived from the original on 2007-09-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d Perdue, op. cit.
  5. ^ a b c Lieberman, Ron (2000 online). ""The Life of Charles James Mathews" (bookseller description)". Rarities of the Day, An Archived Reference Guide to Significant Books. Archived from the original on 2000-10-24. 
  6. ^ Raesmaa, op. cit.
  7. ^ Metropolitan Regatta – History
  8. ^ The Children of Charles Dickens
  9. ^ Antiquarian Books, Johnnycake Books Inc: "Dickens's Dictionary of Paris 1882: An Unconventional Handbook London MacMillan 1882, First Edition Decorated Cloth Boards Good Scarcest of the Dickens's dictionaries, with a preface by the author attesting that his "determination on my part not to issue the book until I was quite satisfies that the information contained in it was trustworthy and to the point" caused delay of its publication." [...] Scarce Dickens item."
  10. ^ Worldcat.org, editions of Dickens's Dictionary of Paris (search with typo "Dicken" finds more results, both with and without typo)
  11. ^ Wordcat.org, editions of The life of Charles James Mathews
  12. ^ a b Bookmaps, op. cit.
  13. ^ Worldcat.org, editions of Dickens's Dictionary of London
  14. ^ Amazon.co.uk, Dickens's Dictionary of London 1888: "Availability: In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk."
  15. ^ Worldcat.org, editions of Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames (search with typo "Dicken" finds more results, both with and without typo)
  16. ^ ISBN.pl, Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames: "Oxford: Taurus Press [...] 1972 facsimile edition of Dickens's Dictionary of The Thames, from its source to the Nore; 1893; An Unconventional Handbook with maps."
  17. ^ Amazon.co.uk, Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames 1887: "Availability: In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk."

External links[edit]

Commercialised works
Misc