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Great Expectations: Charles Dickens' bicentenary is set to make a fortune

Publié par Clifford Armion le 12/02/2011

Arifa Akbar

There is a cartoon of Charles Dickens from 1868, when he was filling theatre halls to the rafters with the most sensational, most lucrative of book tours across America. He is shown standing with his manager, George Dolby, disgruntled as he counts the skyscraper-high piles of dollar bills on the table, and ruing the fact he has not earned more.

The Victorian writer was, by this time, in his commercial stride, a celebrity earning the equivalent of around £30,000 a night in a dynamic one-man act in which he regularly knocked out his "greatest hits" - scenes from A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and Nell Trent's death from The Old Curiosity Shop - to the delight of rapt audiences. This snide, satirising cartoon, that now hangs in the Dickens Museum, reflects how the American press came to see him by the end of the tour - as an author who did little to hide the sharp commercial voracity that ran alongside his abundant literary talent.

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Pour citer cette ressource :

"Great Expectations: Charles Dickens' bicentenary is set to make a fortune", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), février 2011. Consulté le 24/06/2021. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/great-expectations-charles-dickens-bicentenary-is-set-to-make-a-fortune