Epilogue

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

Abstract

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.”

Keywords

Corn Hunt Lost Carol Hate 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    See Craig Howes, “Pendennis and the Controversy on the ‘Dignity of Literature,’” Nineteenth-Century Literature 41 (1986): 269–98;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Peter Shillingsburg, Pegasus in Harness: Victorian Publishing and W. M. Thackeray (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992), 17–19.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Speeches of Charles Dickens, ed. K. J. Fielding (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960), 264.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See Paul Schlicke, Dickens and Popular Entertainment (London: Allen & Unwin, 1985), 227, 245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, ed. A. J. Hoppé, 2 vols (London: J. M. Dent, 1966), 2: 200.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See, for example, Fred Kaplan, Dickens: a Biography (New York: William Morrow, 1988), 381–5, 444–50, 503–13.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kaplan, Dickens, 532–8; Peter Ackroyd, Dickens: a Life (London: Sinclair Stevenson, 1990), 1059–60.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    On the persistent need for pictorial and theatrical supplements for serial fiction, see especially Martin Meisel, Realizations: Narrative, Pictorial, and Theatrical Arts in 19th-century England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    W. P. Frith, Autobiography and Reminiscences, 2 vols (London, 1887), 1: 311–12,Google Scholar
  10. quoted in Collins, PR, 198; George Dolby, Charles Dickens as I Knew Him: the Story of the Reading Tours in Great Britain and America, 1866–70 (London, 1885), 175–6.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Steven Marcus, Dickens from Pickwick to Dombey (New York: Norton, 1965), 17.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    A Christmas Carol: the Public Reading Version: a Facsimile of the Author’s Prompt-Copy, intro. and ed. Philip Collins (New York: The New York Public Library, 1971), 88–96, 92–3.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    On the last-minute revision to save Tiny Tim, as well as twentieth-century responses to the discovery, see Paul Davis, The Lives and Times of Ebeneezer Scrooge (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 133–5, reproducing the manuscript in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, MA 97, 65–6.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (New York: Free Press, 1995), 405;Google Scholar
  15. Weber, “Science as a Vocation,” in From Max Weber (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946), 154;Google Scholar
  16. and see Susan Mizruchi, The Science of Sacrifice: American Literature and Modern Social Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), 49–55.Google Scholar
  17. 16.
    Mizruchi, The Science of Sacrifice, 53. Weber called his brother’s battlefield death of 1915 “beautiful,” having occurred in “the only place where it is worthy of a human being to be at the moment.” Marianne Weber, Max Weber: a Biography (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1988), 531.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    Dolby, Charles Dickens as I Knew Him, 386; PR 471, quoting John Hollingsworth, According to my Lights (London, 1900), 19.Google Scholar
  19. 23.
    The phrase, as in Cocteau’s Les Monstres Sacrés (1940), is now translated as “superstar”; see also Paul Ricoeur, Lectures on Ideology and Utopia, ed. George H. Taylor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), 9–10.Google Scholar
  20. 24.
    See John Sutherland, Victorian Novelists and Publishers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), 215–17.Google Scholar
  21. 25.
    On the serial fate of Hardy’s last novel, Jude the Obscure (1895), see Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund, The Victorian Serial (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991), 230–43.Google Scholar
  22. 26.
    For the classic account of the Guy Domville débâcle, see Leon Edel, Henry James: the Treacherous Years, 1895–1901 (New York: Avon, 1969), 64–80.Google Scholar
  23. 27.
    See Faust, Part One, Auerbach’s Cellar in Leipzig, 1. 2141; Marx, Capital, Volume One (Harmondsworth: Penguin — New Left Books, 1976), 302.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Payne 2005

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  • David Payne

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