(1) from Edmund Yates: His Recollections and Experiences, 4th edn (1885) pp. 190, 238–41, 248, 255, 258–9; (2) from obituary of Thackeray. in Northern Whig, repr. by ‘Theodore Taylor’ (J. C. Hotten), Thackeray the Humorist and Man of Letters (1864) pp. 182–3; (3) from letter to Herman Merivale, 25 May 1889, LPP, iv, 133n. Yates (1831–94), journalist, novelist, Post Office official and one-man-show performer, was the son of the popular theatrical couple, Frederick and Mrs Yates. Pendennis had fired his ambitions ‘to be a member of that wonderful Corporation of the Goosequill’ (Recollections, p. 148), and he became a prolific contributor to — and later editor of — magazines, being associated, from 1856, with Dickens’s weeklies, among others. One of ‘Mr Dickens’s young men’ (i.e. journalistic colleagues and imitators), he became also a confidential friend; and this was of particular importance in 1858, for the much-bruited break-up of Dickens’s marriage, precipitated by his fondness for a young actress, Ellen Ternan, occurred in the weeks just before the Garrick Club row, and these events were connected in complex and not altogether intelligible ways. Certainly, over this Yates was partisan for Dickens, and Thackeray for Mrs Dickens, though Thackeray had also unintentionally offended Dickens through a maladroit effort to rebut sinister rumours about him (LPP, iv, 86).
KeywordsDickens State English Prose Bitter Attack Prose Writer Silvery Whiteness
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.