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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 4 Sep 2015 11:31:57 -0700
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Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     Michael Slater <[log in to unmask]>, to whom every 
Dickensian is indebted, responds to Professor Tracy's post
(see below):                                  (pjm)
> Dear Patrick,
> I am delighted to come to the aid of Professor Tracy whose wonderful DSA essays on Dickens’s changing modes and styles of writing in successive novels were so very helpful and enlightening to me when I was attempting a life of Dickens intended to focus above all on him as a writer.  I have a copy of the Supplement to the Christmas Windsor of 1934 on my shelves and see that I have noted that the text there presented by CD’s eldest grand-daughter, Mary Angela Dickens, as ‘Personal Reminiscences of My Father by Charles Dickens, the Eldest Son of the Novelist’ is, though it nowhere says so,  a reprint of Charley Dickens’s  ‘Glimpses of Dickens’ first published in vol.160 of The North American Review (1895).  The cricket passage (p.26 of the Windsor Supplement) is too long to quote here but presumably is the same as in the NAR article.  Here is a taster of it anyway:
> ‘In these contest [cricket matches got up by “young men and boys about the neighbourhood”] my father always took intense delight, although, as will be obvious to all students of the singular proceedings connected with the famous match in which All Muggleton encountered Dingley Dell, his practical acquaintance with the game was decidedly of a very limited kind. In one of the early matches he officiated as umpire, and, I remember, astonished the natives exceedingly by calling “play” before each ball of the first over, conceiving no doubt, that his duty required him to do so.  It was not long before he discovered that there was something wrong, and, although he gave no sign of having noticed anything, I do not think he ever officiated as umpire again , except under circumstances of special pressure’.
> As it happens, the latest issue of The Dickensian has as its frontispiece a reproduction of the famous 1860s painting in the MCC Library ‘Cricket at Gad’s Hill: Dickens bowling’ .
> Best wishes.
> Michael
> From: Charles Dickens Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Patrick McCarthy
> Sent: 02 September 2015 23:34
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Charles Dickens and Cricket, a Further Note
> Friends of the Dickens Forum,
>      Berkeley's Robert Tracy adds an interesting note to what we have been reading about
> Dickens's interest in and knowledge of cricket.   We do not have a copy of Charley's
> "Reminiscences,"  but in Robert Gottlieb's *Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters
>   of Charles Dickens* (2012) Charley's daughter Mary Angela tells that "He [her father]
> was a lover of cricket and our field [at Gad' Hill] was always at the service of the village
> club."  A love of cricket has been passed on.  Here is Professor Tracy:        (pjm)
> Dear colleagues: I remember but cannot put my hands on my xerox of
> "Reminiscences of My Father" by Charles Dickens, Jr., which appeared in
> Windsor Magazine Supplement in December 1934. Charles Junior comments on
> his father's eagerness to play the Squire of Gad's Hill by sponsoring the
> local cricket team and allowing it to play on his property, and particular
> delight in "marking" or keeping score. But Charles Jr. adds that his father
> did not really understand the game, made mistakes in scoring, and that
> someone else had to straighten things out. His daughter Mamie confirms his
> love of scoring in "My Father as I Recall Him" (1896) ("cricket he enjoyed
> intensely as a spectator, always keeping one of the scores during the
> matches at Gad's Hill").See also Alan S.Watts in DICKENS AT GAD'S HILL
> (!989).
> Dickens's urban childhood and poverty probably prevented him from playing
> cricket as a boy, and so learning how to score properly.
> Someone with a better memory than me, or a better filing system, can
> perhaps provide the "cricket" passage from Charles Junior's reminiscences.
> Rbert Tracy