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By Beryl Gray

Serious about them, not able to disregard them, and imaginatively influenced through them, Charles Dickens was once an acute and unsentimental reporter at the canines he saved and encountered in the course of a time once they have been a burgeoning a part of the nineteenth-century city and household scene. As canine inhabited Dickens's urban, so too did they populate his fiction, journalism, and letters. within the first book-length paintings of feedback on Dickens's courting to canine, Beryl grey exhibits that canines, genuine and invented, have been intrinsic to Dickens's imaginative and prescient and adventure of London and to his representations of its existence. grey attracts on an array of memories by way of Dickens's acquaintances, kinfolk, and fellow writers, and likewise situates her ebook in the context of nineteenth-century attitudes in the direction of canines as printed within the periodical press, newspapers, and institutional documents. critical to her research is her research of Dickens's texts in courting to their illustrations by way of George Cruikshank and Hablot Knight Browne and to portraiture through past due eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists like Thomas Gainsborough and Edwin Landseer. The puppy within the Dickensian mind's eye won't simply enlighten readers and critics of Dickens and people drawn to his lifestyles yet will function an enormous source for students drawn to the Victorian urban, the remedy of animals in literature and artwork, and attitudes in the direction of animals in nineteenth-century Britain.

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273–4. 12 PP, p. 277. The Dog in the Dickensian Imagination 26 Bull’s-eye (who will come to the fore in Chapter 6) was followed by two generically baying canine sleuths in the April 1840 MHC tale, ‘A Confession Found in a Prison in the Time of Charles the Second’. Specimens of the same breed as the Dog of Montargis, they locate a murdered child’s grave lying under the murderer’s chair. The troupe of performing dogs in The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41; also to be discussed in Chapter 6), the animal tormented by Quilp in the same work, and Hugh’s unnamed dog in Barnaby Rudge (1841), had also all made their appearance by the time Timber came on to the scene.

But Dickens does not let Merrychance entirely disappear, for only eight months after the publication of ‘Gone Astray’, half the dog’s name, and the better part of his nature, would lend themselves to Merrylegs, the equally gifted but supremely faithful circus dog in Hard Times. After Merrychance’s betrayal, more wandering about the city, and much persecution by boys, the lost child loses heart;30 but he is revived by ‘another nap, and a pump, and a bun, and above all a picture’31 – a representation on a playbill of a scene from an entertainment which inspires him to find the theatre and see the performance.

450. 3 [Mamie Dickens], ‘Charles Dickens at Home. By his Eldest Daughter’ [‘CDH’], The Cornhill Magazine NS IV (January 1885), p. 44. 4 See [Mamie Dickens], Charles Dickens. By His Eldest Daughter [CD] (London: Cassell & Company Ltd, 1885), p. 103; Henry Dickens, Memories of My Father (London: 1 ‘I have taken to Dogs lately’: The Great Gad’s Hill Dogs 37 or extra-marital joy. Nevertheless, his acquisition of them marks a particular stage in his life before Nelly came into it just as distinctly as does the purchase of the place in which they were to live.

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