Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812- June 9, 1870)
Considered the greatest English novelist of the Victorian era, Dickens was a prolific writer of fiction, plays, and essays that made him the most popular author in British history during his lifetime, and today his works have never gone out of print. This month, in honor of the bicentennial of Dickens’ birth, the Rare Book Room staff has set up a display of original letters and an essay from the Gluck Manuscript Collection at the Central Library.
The manuscript, The great international walking match of February 29th, 1868, was written during one of Dickens’ trips to the United States. Foot races being common in the latter 19th century and Dickens himself an avid walker, sometimes traveling over 20 miles a day, the walking match over difficult Boston terrain on a bitter cold morning would prove too arduous for the Boz, who dropped out before reaching the finish line.