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Mudfog and Other Sketches

Charles Dickens

Book Overview: 

The Mudfog Papers was written by Victorian era novelist Charles Dickens, they were first published as a book as 'The Mudfog Papers and Other Sketches. The Mudfog Papers relates the proceedings of the fictional 'The Mudfog Society for the Advancement of Everything', a Pickwickian parody of the British Association for the Advancement of Science founded in York in 1831, one of the numerous Victorian learned societies dedicated to the advancement of Science. Like The Pickwick Papers, The Mudfog Papers claim affinity with Parliamentary reports, memoirs, and posthumous papers. The serial was illustrated by George Cruikshank. The fictional town of Mudfog was based on Chatham in Kent, where Dickens spent part of his youth. Mudfog was described by Dickens as being the town where Oliver Twist was born and spent his early years when the story first appeared in 'Bentley's Miscellany' in February 1837, making it a continuation of The Mudfog Papers, but this allusion was removed when the story was printed in book form. At the conclusion of his first contribution, about the mayor of the provincial town of Mudfog, Dickens explains that "this is the first time we have published any of our gleanings from this particular source," referring to 'The Mudfog Papers'. He also suggests that "at some future period, we may venture to open the chronicles of Mudfog." (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mudfog High-street, and abutting on the river-side, stands the Jolly Boatmen, an old-fashioned low-roofed, bay-windowed house, with a bar, kitchen, and tap-room all in one, and a large fireplace with a kettle to correspond, round which the working men have congregated time out of mind on a winter’s night, refreshed by draughts of good strong beer, and cheered by the sounds of a fiddle and tambourine: the Jolly Boatmen having been duly licensed by the Mayor and corporation, to scrape the fiddle and thumb the tambourine from time, whereof the memory of the oldest inhabitants goeth not to the contrary.  Now Nicholas Tulrumble had been reading pamphlets on crime, and parliamentary reports,—or had made the secretary read them to him, which is the same thing in effect,—and he at once perceived that this fiddle and tambourine must have done more to demoralize Mudfog, than any other operating causes that ingenuity could imagine.  So he read up for the . . . Read More

Community Reviews

My first Dickens book. A satire about these dignitaries who thought too well of themselves. They were telling the most mundane stories as though they were the most hilarious and riviting things that ever happened.

The stories were mostly one-note but there was one hilarious part about some bogus dis

This grouping of stories is dripping with satire, and it’s wonderful!

Some humorous sketches. I particularly enjoyed the clever satire of scientific society meetings.

Dickens wrote The Mudfog Papers as a series of sketches for Bentley's Miscellany in 1837 and 1838, at the same time Oliver Twist was being serialized there. Mudfog was originally named as the town where Oliver was born, but when the novel was published in book form, the town's name was taken out. Ho

En este libro tenemos unos relatos de Dickens donde demuestra su genialidad hilando muy fino con la ironía y la crítica a la sociedad del momento. Me lo he pasado genial leyendo sus hilarantes historias, el retrato de los personajes y el nombre que les pone tampoco tienen desperdicio. Muy recomendab

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