Anyone interested in Dickens and America will want
to look at Peter Blake's TLS (June 10) review of *Charles Dickens
and His Chicago Relatives* by Sidney and Carolyn Moss. Blake
advances yet another reason for Dickens's ambivalence toward
America. A colleague of his brother Augustus, Thomas Powell,
had written so hostile a life of Dickens for American newspapers
that the novelist retaliated by calling Powell a liar and
forger. Powell threatened a lawsuit which "was dismissed
after Dickens published a pamphlet detailing Powell's crimes."
The review came just after I had replied to a
request from a non-subscriber for information (and bibliography)
about Dickens's antipathy to aspects of American life. The Powell
reference led me to Wilfred Partington's pieces on him done
for the *The Dickensian* in volumes 43 and 44. I began to
wonder what other references of this sort I had missed.
Below is the list I supplied. Are there omissions,
obvious or otherwise? Reply to me and I will forward your
answers to the list.
In response to your inquiry, I would say first that your
student should look to the best biographies of Dickens for
the section dealing with Dickens's two visits to America.
These are the biographies by Edgar Johnson, Fred Kaplan and
Peter Ackroyd. The last named has relevant pages on the 1842
visit in Chapter 13.
Should the student need more, I include a short bibliography
(not in consistent format) relating to Dickens in America. (I
especially recommend the work of Jerome Meckier.)
Adrian, A.A., "Dickens on American Slavery: a Carlylean Slant,"
*PMLA*, 67(1952), 315-29.
Davis, Paul, "Dickens and the American Press," *Dickens Studies*,
4 (March 1968)
Evans, Edward J., "The Established Self: The American Chapters of
Martin Chuzzlewit." *Dickens Studies Annual*, 5(1975),
Hughes, Dean, "Great Expectations: Dickens on America,* *Dickensian*,
1983 Summer, 79(2 (400)): 67-76
Meckier, Jerome, "Dickens Discovers America, Dickens Discovers
Dickens: The First Visit Reconsidered," *Modern Language
Review*, 79, pt.2 (1984) 266-277.
Meckier, Jerome, *Innocent Abroad: Charles Dickens's American
Engagements*, Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1990
Moss, Sidney P., *Charles Dickens' Quarrel with America*, Troy:
Moss, Sidney P., "South Carolina Contemplates Banning Dickens's
American Notes," *Dickensian*, 1984 Autumn, 80(3 (404)): 156-162
Parker, David, "Dickens and America: The Unflattering Glass," *Dick-
ens Studies Annual: Essays on Victorian Fiction*, 1986 15: 55-63
Slater, Michael, *Dickens on America and the Americans*, London:
Wilkins, W. Glyde, *Charles Dickens in America*, London: Chapman
and Hall, 1911; New York: Haskell House, 1970.