15

The claim that ‘Dickens invented the scary clown’ seems to be rooted in the work of Andrew McConnel Scott, Professor of English at the University of Buffalo, through his paper ‘Clowns on the Verge of a nervous breakdown: Dickens coulrophobia and the Memoirs of joseph Grimaldi' where Through a focus on the career of the British pantomimist Joseph Grimaldi (...


10

The quotation Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains is proverbial and dates to the late 19th century, more or less around Dickens's time. However, nothing like it is found in any of his novels or published letters. If he said it in an after-dinner speech, we have no records of the rest of the speech. Nor do we know when or to what audience he is ...


10

Dickens had a variety of motivations in writing A Christmas Carol. Financial. Dickens earned a living as an author, and sales of his previous novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, were slowing. As a result, his publishers were threatening to reduce his income. At the same time, his wife was expecting a fifth child so his expenses were due to increase. He needed to ...


9

In the book Charles Dickens in Context, by Sally Ledger and Holly Furneaux, quoting from Google Books: [Survival] for both playwright and playhouse required the rapid production of new scripts. To keep up this frantic pace, dramatists cut corners, claiming as their own scripts they merely translated from a foreign language, closely mimicking ...


9

He appears to be using it in a sarcastic manner. He is saying that they are so stupid, that he'll call them geniuses. It's like when someone says: "Washington DC is the capital of the United States?" "Yes, you genius!" You don't mean that they are actually super smart. In this case, and I'll tell you what's more-I think these two geniuses, whoever ...


5

The stranger is an associate of Magwitch. I have no particular evidence to support this, beyond commonly accepted interpretations of the text, which are based on a series of circumstancial observations. First, the stranger has Magwitch's file. Pip is certain that it is the same file and the stranger shows it to Pip in a semi-secretive manner, using it to ...


5

Fred R. Shapiro's The Yale Book of Quotations attributes "Genius . . . an infinite capacity for taking pains" to "Jane Ellice Hopkins, English reformer, 1836–1904" in Work Amongst Working Men ch. 4 (1870). The 1884 fifth edition of that book (with the author's name given as Ellice Hopkins) is available at the Internet Archive, and the quotation can be found ...


5

Dickens is describing Pip's first encounter with a convict, Magwitch. in a coarse gray This is shorthand for "coarse gray cloth". It is uncommon, but not unfamiliar, in English to describe clothes by the cut of their cloth. So you might say of a wealthy lady that she was "in a fur" or "in furs" to mean a fur coat. In fact, I ...


4

In the context of this sentence, "raw" refers to the weather. The following definition from Wiktionary applies here: Unpleasantly cold or damp. So Pip is saying that the weather that evening was unpleasantly cold or damp. (Later in the same chapter, the escaped convict is described as "glancing about him over the cold wet flat". The ...


4

In Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens uses the word genius thirty-three times, using five out of the ten major senses of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary. There must be a deliberate playfulness in employing the word in so many of its meanings. Here’s a survey of the various senses employed: Chapter 1: Its boarding-houses are musical, and the notes of ...


4

The use of the work "obelisk" is most likely a malapropism here. The narrator is confusing the less familiar word basilisk with the more familiar word obelisk. An obelisk is a type of monument and won't cast any glances at anyone. The basilisk, by contrast, is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king who can cause death with a single glance. ...


4

A Bill of Exchange is a financial instrument which promised to pay money after a fixed period, was signed by the person drawing the instrument up and the 'acceptor', who was the person responsible for paying the money signed it to prove they agreed to it. There would usually be a three day grace period, to allow the acceptor time to get the cash together ...


3

The Articles of War are (and were, since before Dickens's time) the official regulations defining the scope of military and naval discipline in the UK. They were read on ceremonial occasions and on occasions when a commander felt that discipline was lax. To "read the Articles of War" was the martial equivalent of "reading the riot act". In this passage,...


2

It depends on whom you ask. Some will tell you that the widest POV is the controlling factor, because narrowing it down is only an exception. In that case, Bleak House is omniscient (or third-person) POV. Some will tell you it's alternating or multiple POV. There isn't an official name for this classification, since there are so many possible variations. ...


2

There is no textual answer to this question. Instead, however, we can perhaps artifice one by looking at the religious beliefs of the author. The academic symposium The Dickens Project has this to say on the subject of Dickens' religion. In all his writings, Charles Dickens—a Christian of the broadest kind—is outspoken in his dislike of evangelicalism and ...


2

Could this be the fragment you are thinking of? It is in Book The Second: Riches, chapter 5: Something Right Somewhere. ‘Mr Dorrit,’ returned Mrs General, ‘I have conversed with Amy several times since we have been residing here, on the general subject of the formation of a demeanour. She has expressed herself to me as wondering exceedingly at Venice. I ...


1

I believe what we are to understand is that, just as the narrator has seen the murderer and the murdered man in incorporeal form, and remember that when he saw them from his window: Both men threaded their way among the other passengers with a smoothness hardly consistent even with the action of walking on a pavement; and no single creature, that I could ...


1

It's probably impossible to know for certain now what Dickens's thought process was when he came up with the name Magwitch - we can't exactly ask him, and "interviews with authors" were much less common in his time than today - but there has been some speculation about this by critics. The site JohnDClare.net, which describes itself as a GCSE ...


1

First of all, I doubt that Carton was going there to support Darnay. Although Darnay and Lucie treat him like family, Carton still feels inadequate in the presence of Darnay. As he states in Chapter 20, "The Plea", But I do, and you must take my word for it. Well! If you could endure to have such a worthless fellow, and a fellow of such indifferent ...


1

The question itself is a fascinating observation, but the questions answers itself. When Pip sees the file carried by the mysterious man, Pip as the narrator states: "...and I knew that he knew my convict..."` "my convict" is Pip's description of Magwitch, so clearly from the context of the quoted passage itself, Dickens shows alert readers that the ...


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