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American Notes & Pictures (Dickens…
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American Notes & Pictures (Dickens Collection) (urspr publ 1842; utgåvan 1997)

av Charles Dickens (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7001023,902 (3.67)50
American Notes is a fascinating account of nineteenth-century America sketched with Charles Dickens's characteristic wit and charm. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with notes and an introduction by Patricia Ingham.When Charles Dickens set out for America in 1842 he was the most famous man of his day to travel there - curious about the revolutionary new civilization that had captured the English imagination. His frank and often humorous descriptions cover everything from his comically wretched sea voyage to his sheer astonishment at the magnificence of the Niagara Falls, while he also visited hospitals, prisons and law courts and found them exemplary. But Dickens's opinion of America as a land ruled by money, built on slavery, with a corrupt press and unsavoury manners, provoked a hostile reaction on both sides of the Atlantic. American Notesis an illuminating account of a great writer's revelatory encounter with the New World. In her introduction, Patricia Ingham examines the response the book received when it was published, and compares it with similar travel writings of the period and with Dickens's fiction, in particular Martin Chuzzlewit. This edition includes an updated chronology, appendices and notes.Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfieldand The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions.If you enjoyed American Notes, you might like Dickens's Pictures from Italy, also available in Penguin Classics.… (mer)
Medlem:bombaylychee
Titel:American Notes & Pictures (Dickens Collection)
Författare:Charles Dickens (Författare)
Info:Orion Publishing Group, Ltd. (1997), 448 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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American Notes for General Circulation av Charles Dickens (Author) (1842)

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Dickens' 7th book, and the 1st of his two travelogues, marks an important point in his career trajectory. After five years of becoming a crazily famous writer, and churning out half a dozen books in that time, he now got to enjoy his celebrity and further hone his comic skills. American Notes is - 175 years after its publication - more of a historical curiosity than a great work. Like many Brits, Dickens finds much to mock about Americans and, while it feels a little cruel at times, his satire is right on target. At times, it is downright titillating to see both what life was like in antebellum America, and also how someone so thoroughly British reacted to it. Unsurprisingly, this book didn't go down well in America itself, but - really - has much changed? The propensity toward violence at a moment's notice, the aggressive individualism and suspicion of strangers, of the government, of anyone's success but one's own... sounds like America to me.

This would actually better suit readers of historical documents than it would Dickens enthusiasts, but it's an amusing and well-written read for completists. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Lovely Westvaco edition, with period illustrations by Bartlett.
  SteveJohnson | Apr 2, 2018 |
This marvellous travelogue is Dickens's account of his first visit to the United States from January to June 1842, and the inspiration for the American episode in Martin Chuzzlewit, which otherwise sticks out like a sore thumb in the narrative of that novel. The voyage took nearly three weeks each way and the descriptions of the perils of transatlantic travel 170 years ago are well told. On the way over on the steamship RMS Britannia, the ship was caught in a storm during which "the lifeboat had been crushed by one blow of the sea like a walnut-shell"; Dickens and most of the other passengers suffered from acute sea sickness. In the States, Dickens travelled round a fair bit across mostly in the East Coast and Great Lakes areas, by steamboat, coach and rail, visiting may towns, commenting in particular on the state of prisons, mental institutions, institutions for the blind and deaf, and judicial buildings. He spends a long time in the early part of the book describing the valiant, moving and successful attempts to teach a young girl who is deaf, blind and mute, and lacking a sense of taste or smell, to communicate using touch alone. He is very critical of many aspects of American life, including their press and political institutions, criticisms that ring true today (though he briefly meets President John Tyler, and seems impressed at a personal level with him). As always, he describes abject poverty in ringing terms ("Where dogs would howl to lie, women, and men, and boys slink off to sleep, forcing the dislodged rats to move away in quest of better lodgings"). However, he reserves his bitterest contempt for the institution and practices of slavery, which he criticises throughout the book and in a postscript at the end, citing many examples of the cruel and violent treatment meted out to slaves of both sexes and all ages, openly described in notices in the press from slave owners seeking runaways. He first encounters slavery in Maryland ("[we were] were waited on, for the first time, by slaves. The sensation of exacting any service from human creatures who are bought and sold, and being, for the time, a party as it were to their condition, is not an enviable one". He is strong on the hypocrisy of slavery existing in a state founded on the notions of liberty and human happiness.

All this said, this is no humourless political denunciation. Dickens describes many human situations, including the habits of chewing and spitting tobacco, and the laconic and seemingly indifferent attitudes of many Americans, with a lightness of touch that will be familiar to readers of his novels, and makes his vigorous denunciations all the more impressive, precisely because they are not overused. This is a great read as a portrait of a society at a very early stage in its existence. Dickens visited American again much later, in 1868 and thought that much had changed for the better. ( )
2 rösta john257hopper | Dec 10, 2017 |
An enjoyable travelogue of Dickens' experiences in the US and Canada during the six months he and his wife spent there in 1842. As you'd expect from Dickens it's full of his humour and his views on social issues including detailed descriptions of the hospitals, prisons and provision for the poor in almost every town he visits. Whilst the book starts in quite a jolly manner, Dickens slowly sounds more weary and bitter as the journey progresses. This may partly have been due to the effects of being almost constantly on the road (or river) for 6 months (I know I would have hated it) but it may also be the disillusionment Dickens suffered on finding that the New World was not the Republican utopia he had hoped to find.

At the end of the book Dickens launches into a blistering attack on slavery and the other perceived vices of North America which needless to say, didn't win him any friends in the US and lost him some of the friends he'd made upon his travels:

"Shall we whimper over legends of the tortures practised on each other by the Pagan Indians, and smile upon the cruelties of Christian men! Shall we, so long as these things last, exult above the scattered remnants of that race, and triumph in the white enjoyment of their possessions? Rather, for me, restore the forest and the Indian village; in lieu of stars and stripes, let some poor feather flutter in the breeze; replace the streets and squares by wigwams; and though the death-song of a hundred haughty warriors fill the air, it will be music to the shriek of one unhappy slave.

On one theme, which is commonly before our eyes, and in respect of which our national character is changing fast, let the plain Truth be spoken, and let us not, like dastards, beat about the bush by hinting at the Spaniard and the fierce Italian. When knives are drawn by Englishmen in conflict let it be said and known: 'We owe this change to Republican Slavery. These are the weapons of Freedom. With sharp points and edges such as these, Liberty in America hews and hacks her slaves; or, failing that pursuit, her sons devote them to a better use, and turn them on each other.' "


And to balance that, my favourite humourous quotation from the passage to North America from England:

"About midnight we shipped a sea, which forced its way through the skylights, burst open the doors above, and came raging and roaring down into the ladies' cabin, to the unspeakable consternation of my wife and a little Scotch lady - who, by the way, had previously sent a message to the captain by the stewardess, requesting him, with her compliments, to have a steel conductor immediately attached to the top of every mast, and to the chimney, in order that the ship might not be struck by lightning. They and the handmaid before mentioned, being in such ecstasies of fear that I scarcely knew what to do with them, I naturally bethought myself of some restorative or comfortable cordial; and nothing better occurring to me, at the moment, than hot brandy-and-water, I procured a tumbler full without delay. It being impossible to stand or sit without holding on, they were all heaped together in one corner of a long sofa - a fixture extending entirely across the cabin - where they clung to each other in momentary expectation of being drowned. When I approached this place with my specific, and was about to administer it with many consolatory expressions to the nearest sufferer, what was my dismay to see them all roll slowly down to the other end! And when I staggered to that end, and held out the glass once more, how immensely baffled were my good intentions by the ship giving another lurch, and their all rolling back again! I suppose I dodged them up and down this sofa for at least a quarter of an hour, without reaching them once; and by the time I did catch them, the brandy-and-water was diminished, by constant spilling, to a teaspoonful." ( )
  souloftherose | Jan 28, 2016 |
Apparently the 2010s are not the most disgusting period in Washington politics-in the antebellum period acrimonious politics combined with chewing tobacco to make the Capitol a disgusting place
  ritaer | Apr 6, 2015 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (20 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Dickens, CharlesFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Houlihan, Raymond F.Illustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ingham, PatriciaRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ingham, PatriciaInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wall, StephenChronologymedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I dedicate this book to those friends of mine in America who, giving me a welcome I must ever gratefully and proudly remember, left my judgement free; and who, loving their country, can bear the truth, when it is told good humouredly, and in a kind spirit.
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I shall never forget the one-fourth serious and three-fourths comical astonishment, with which, on the morning of the third of January eighteen-hundred-and-forty-two, I opened the door of, and put my head into, a 'state-room' on board the Britannia steam-packet, twelve hundred tons burthen per register, bound for Halifax and Boston, and carrying her Majesty's mails.
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This is the single work American Notes. Please do not combine with other collections that contain this work.
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American Notes is a fascinating account of nineteenth-century America sketched with Charles Dickens's characteristic wit and charm. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with notes and an introduction by Patricia Ingham.When Charles Dickens set out for America in 1842 he was the most famous man of his day to travel there - curious about the revolutionary new civilization that had captured the English imagination. His frank and often humorous descriptions cover everything from his comically wretched sea voyage to his sheer astonishment at the magnificence of the Niagara Falls, while he also visited hospitals, prisons and law courts and found them exemplary. But Dickens's opinion of America as a land ruled by money, built on slavery, with a corrupt press and unsavoury manners, provoked a hostile reaction on both sides of the Atlantic. American Notesis an illuminating account of a great writer's revelatory encounter with the New World. In her introduction, Patricia Ingham examines the response the book received when it was published, and compares it with similar travel writings of the period and with Dickens's fiction, in particular Martin Chuzzlewit. This edition includes an updated chronology, appendices and notes.Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfieldand The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions.If you enjoyed American Notes, you might like Dickens's Pictures from Italy, also available in Penguin Classics.

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