The Sacred Monster: the Serial Novelists’ Reenchantment
  • David Payne
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


On the evening of 29 April 1858, Charles Dickens stepped out on the stage of St. Martin’s Hall, London, to cheers from his audience. Two weeks before, he had given readings in the same venue for the benefit of the Hospital for Sick Children. Now, he was making the first public appearance of his life undertaken for his own profit; on the program was The Cricket on the Hearth, the tale written for Christmas 1845.1 Before starting, Dickens felt it necessary to say a few words about what he was doing, and why. Having given a number of charity readings in the past, undertaken “at some charge to [himself], both in time and money,” and with “accumulating demands” for more of the same, he faced a decision “between now and then reading on my own account” and “not reading at all.”


Symbolic Murder Public Appearance Street Branch Imaginary Audience Trial Reading 
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© David Payne 2005

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  • David Payne

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