Sketches by Boz

Between 1833 and 1836, the Victorian writer Charles Dickens wrote a number of sketches which were originally published in various newspapers and other periodicals including The Morning Chronicle, The Evening Chronicle, The Monthly Magazine, The Carlton Chronicle and Bell’s Weekly Messenger. Many were published under the pen name of Boz, which Dickens adopted early on in his career as a writer and journalist. The popular sketches were reproduced in 1836 in a collected work, Sketches by Boz, which contained 56 sketches divided into four sections: Our Parish (7 sketches) Scenes (25 sketches), Characters (12 sketches) and Tales (12 sketches). The material in the first three sections consists of portraits of London life and the last section comprised fictional stories.

The crowd were on the tiptoe of expectation.

Background. "The crowd were on the tiptoe of expectation." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters, Chapter 12 (The Prisoners’ Van). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. A crowd, gathered outside London's Bow Street Magistrates Court, eagerly await prisoners disembarking from a van that has brought them to be charged at the Court. Taken from the following passage in The Prisoners’ Van: The [...]

Somehow, we never can resist joining a crowd.

Background. "Somehow, we never can resist joining a crowd." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters, Chapter 6 (The Hospital Patient). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. George Cruickshank illustrated the sketch The Hospital Patient with this drawing of a pickpocket being carted off to the Police Station. After watching a pickpocket being transported to the Police Station, Dickens and company [...]

2018-04-30T12:25:09+00:00 Categories: Sketches by Boz, The Hospital Patient|Tags: , |

The girl started up, with an energy quite preternatural; the fire gleamed in her heavy eyes, and the blood rushed to her pale and sunken cheeks.

Background. "The girl started up, with an energy quite preternatural; the fire gleamed in her heavy eyes, and the blood rushed to her pale and sunken cheeks." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters, Chapter 6 (The Hospital Patient). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. A victim of domestic violence, who is laying dying in a hospital bed, is startled when confronted by [...]

I did it myself—it was nobody’s fault—it was an accident.

Background. "I did it myself—it was nobody’s fault—it was an accident." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters, Chapter 6 (The Hospital Patient). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. A victim of domestic violence, who is laying dying in a hospital bed, claims her injuries were caused by herself when confronted by the perpetrator in front of a Magistrate. Taken from the following [...]

If there be one thing in existence more miserable than another, it most unquestionably is the being compelled to rise by candlelight.

Background. "If there be one thing in existence more miserable than another, it most unquestionably is the being compelled to rise by candlelight." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Scenes, Chapter 15 (Early Coaches). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Dickens describes that feeling of not wanting to get up before dawn. Taken from the following passage in Early Coaches: If there be [...]

2018-04-27T19:57:51+00:00 Categories: Early Coaches, Sketches by Boz|Tags: |

Carried to their respective abodes in a hackney-coach, and a state of insensibility, compounded of shrub, sherry, and excitement.

Background. "Carried to their respective abodes in a hackney-coach, and a state of insensibility, compounded of shrub, sherry, and excitement." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters. Chapter 4 (Miss Evans and the Eagle). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Description of getting home after a good night out. The quote is taken from the following final passage in the sketch Miss Evans and [...]

The form of a giantess and the mind of a child.

Background. "The form of a giantess and the mind of a child." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Tales. Chapter 7 (The Steam Excursion). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Description of Mrs. Taunton, the frivolous 'good-looking widow of fifty' who lives with her daughters in Great Marlborough Street, London. The quote is taken from the following passage in the sketch The Steam Excursion: Mr. [...]

Mr. Edkins … makes a speech on every occasion on which a speech can possibly be made: the eloquence of which can only be equalled by its length. In the event of his not being previously appointed to a judgeship, it is probable that he will practise as a barrister in the New Central Criminal Court.

Background. "Mr. Edkins ... makes a speech on every occasion on which a speech can possibly be made: the eloquence of which can only be equalled by its length. In the event of his not being previously appointed to a judgeship, it is probable that he will practise as a barrister in the New Central Criminal Court." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Tales. Chapter 7 (The Steam Excursion). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by [...]

2018-04-28T10:19:58+00:00 Categories: Sketches by Boz, The Steam Excursion|Tags: , |

He had a large circle of acquaintance, and seldom dined at his own expense.

Background. "He had a large circle of acquaintance, and seldom dined at his own expense." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Tales. Chapter 7 (The Steam Excursion). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Description of Percy Noakes, the law student and life and soul of a party. The quote is taken from the following opening passage in the sketch The Steam Excursion: Mr. Percy [...]

2018-03-27T10:28:56+00:00 Categories: Sketches by Boz, The Steam Excursion|Tags: |

It is strange with how little notice, good, bad, or indifferent, a man may live and die in London.

Background. "It is strange with how little notice, good, bad, or indifferent, a man may live and die in London." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Characters. Chapter 1 (Thoughts about People). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Quote taken from the opening passage of Thoughts about People: It is strange with how little notice, good, bad, or indifferent, a man may live [...]

A girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand.

Background.  “A girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand.” is a quotation taken Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12 (The Drunkard’s Death). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Taken from the following passage in The Drunkard’s Death (Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12): The man whom we have followed into this den, [...]

He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in.

Background.  “He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in.” is a quotation taken Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12 (The Drunkard’s Death). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Taken from the following passage in The Drunkard’s Death (Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12): For two whole days, all three remained [...]