No man can estimate the amount of mischief grown in dirt.

Background. “No man can estimate the amount of mischief grown in dirt” is a quotation from a speech by Charles Dickens. The speech, on sanitary reform, was at a dinner for the Metropolitan Sanitary Association given on the 10 May 1851 at Gore House, Kensington.   Context. Charles Dickens attended the event with his friend […]

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How I could have been so easily cast away at such an age.

Background. “How I could have been so easily cast away at such an age” is a quotation from the letters from Charles Dickens to John Forster. The quotation was published in Forster’s biography published soon after the death of Dickens.   Context. Dickens reflects on being sent to work in Warren’s Blacking Factory at the […]

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I have seen, habitually, some of the worst sources of general contamination and corruption in this country, and I think there are not many phases of London life that could surprise me.

Background. “I have seen, habitually, some of the worst sources of general contamination and corruption in this country, and I think there are not many phases of London life that could surprise me” is a quotation from a letter to The Times written by Charles Dickens (on the Manning execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol), November […]

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I stand astounded and appalled by the wickedness it exhibits.

Background. “I stand astounded and appalled by the wickedness it exhibits” is a quotation taken from a letter to The Times written by Charles Dickens (on the Manning execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol), November 1849.   Context. Charles Dickens attended an execution at Horsemonger Lane Gaol on the morning of Tuesday 13th November 1849, staying all night […]

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