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Subject:
From:
Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 29 Oct 1993 15:07:15 -0700
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Fellow Dickensians!

During the past two weeks your Dickens-L editor paid a flying
visit to London on route to an equally quick visit to the con-
tinent.  He dropped in at The Dickens House Museum and the
British Library to see old friends and get the news.  Here are
some of the things he learned:

A) New Dickens Editions:

    The Clarendon edition of Dickens's novels, "the first edition
to present texts based on all the available evidence" and
purified of the corruptions that have crept in over the years,
published its _Great Expectations_ during the past summer.  It is
edited by Margaret Cardwell, who has retired from her post at the
University of Belfast and now lives in England.  Her edition of
_The Mystery of Edwin Drood_, published in 1972, was the second
one in the series.  We have seen no reviews as yet.

    Kathleen Tillotson, the general editor of the Clarendon edi-
tion, expects that _Master Humphrey's Clock_, embodying of course
_The Old Curiosity Shop_ and _Barnaby Rudge_, will be out before
year's end.  It (or perhaps we should say "they") are being
edited by Elizabeth Brennan.

    Everyman is issuing its own new series of Dickens novels, and
the editors have already been chosen.  Michael Slater will be
doing all the journalism parts--_The Uncommercial Traveller_ and
so on; David Parker, _Nicholas Nickleby; and Paul Schlicke, we
understand, _The Old Curiosity Shop_.

B) Dickens's Letters

    Volume VII of the splendid Pilgrim edition of Dickens's let-
ters has been out for months and is just now getting serious
reviews.  Malcolm Andrews's notice in the Summer _Dickensian_ is
excellent, and others are scheduled to appear, in _Victorian
Prose_ for example.

    The editors of Volume VIII, Graham Storey and Kathleen Til-
lotson, hope to deliver their manuscript to Oxford University
Press shortly after the New Year.  The volume will cover the
years 1856 through 1858.  As Andrews says, "If our indebtedness
to the work of these editors were ever formally called in we
would all be languishing in the Marshalsea."

C)  Works in Progress

    Among works in progress being talked of are Michael Slater's
biography of Douglas Jerrold and _The Miracle of Pickwick_, by
Cedric Dickens, the great-grandson of the Inimitable.  We hear
too that Gail David is doing interesting work on Dickens and
women.

D) A New Portrait of Catherine Dickens

    David Parker, the curator of the Dickens House Museum on
Doughty Street, is delighted that the Museum will soon acquire,
as a gift, a portrait of Catherine Dickens not previously known
to the world of Dickens enthusiasts.  He is writing a piece for
_The Dickensian_ on the acquisition.   It is a youthful represen-
tation, very handsome, and confirms the sense we have from Daniel
Maclise's first portrait of her (1842) that she was a pretty and
attractive woman.

E)  A Sweet for Dickensians

    Thanks to Gordon Philo, who writes under the name of Charles
Forsyte, we now know that Dickens's favorite dessert ("sweet" in
British usage) was jam roly-poly pudding.  (See the Summer 1993
issue of _The Dickensian_, page 122.)  English people of a
certain age will know the "sweet,"  but Americans are liable not
to know its charms.  In London on this visit we discovered that
Jam roly-poly pudding is regularly on the menu of the Queen Char-
lotte Restaurant in Queen Square within ten minutes of Doughty
Street and on a direct route from Dickens House and the British
Museum.  It is a steamed dish, not overly sweet, and a pudding in
the American sense of "soft, thickened dessert made with milk,
sugar, flour, and flavoring."

    All comments, corrections, and additions welcome!

Patrick McCarthy
University of California, Santa Barbara