Essay on Household Words, by Charles Dickens

Essay on Household Words, by Charles Dickens

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In many ways the Victorian Era is not as different as one might initially expect, though there—of course—have been many social improvements since those times. Individuals of Victorian England had, as we do today, a strong attachment to media entertainment. Just as many American anxiously await the release of new episodes of television shows weekly, Victorian England was similarly riveted through weekly installments from a wide variety of periodicals of the time that too were released on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Fans were riveted for the next installment of works like Oliver Twist, The Moonstone, and other such works that have in modern times been compiled into united novels. A particularly popular one of these periodicals was Household Words beginning at the second half of the nineteenth century.
Household Words was one of the most popular periodicals of its time and came to be a place, along with its latter replacement All the Year Round, to find the best up-and-coming literary works. Household Words was edited by the already famous Charles Dickens (The Guardian), which only added to the periodical’s appeal, and he so domineered the periodical that author’s names were not written only “Conducted by Charles Dickens” emblazoned on the top of each page (Household Words 145). The weekly periodical was created in 1850 and lasted until 1859 when Charles Dickens began to have disputes with the publishers; following said disputes, Charles Dickens began his own periodical—for which he had 50 percent ownership—called All the Year Round (The Guardian). The article was developed for a middle class audience with a small portion of disposable income with each weekly article costing a tuppenny (The Guardian), writin...


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...cts and for different purposes. It is particularly surprising how direct some were in their open symbolic criticism of class institutions that so strongly governed the period like “A Mutiny in India.” One may also note, however, that this magazine was clearly not solely focused on issues from an entirely negative perspective; some merely used dark sympathy-drawing language as a means of showing how far society has come from some portions of its dark past, just as people watch some television programs for information, some for romance, and some for their social commentary in modern times.



Works Cited

Dickens, Charles. Household Words. Volume XVI. London: Bradbury & Evans, 15 Aug. 1857. 145-169. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
McVeigh, Tracy. " Charles Dickens Bicentenary: Call for Online Editors to Save Forgotten Journal." The Guardian. 7 Aug. 2011. N. Pag. Web. 20 Feb. 2014

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