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The Uncommercial Traveller

Charles Dickens

Book Overview: 

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain. He does not seem content to rest late in his career when he had attained wealth and comfort and continued travelling locally, walking the streets of London in the mould of the flâneur, a 'gentleman stroller of city streets'. He often suffered from insomnia and his night-time wanderings gave him an insight into some of the hidden aspects of Victorian London, details of which he also incorporated into his novels. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I had got back again to that rich and beautiful port where I had looked after Mercantile Jack, and I was walking up a hill there, on a wild March morning.  My conversation with my official friend Pangloss, by whom I was accidentally accompanied, took this direction as we took the up-hill direction, because the object of my uncommercial journey was to see some discharged soldiers who had recently come home from India.  There were men of HAVELOCK’s among them; there were men who had been in many of the great battles of the great Indian campaign, among them; and I was curious to note what our discharged soldiers looked like, when they were done with.

I was not the less interested (as I mentioned to my official friend Pangloss) because these men had claimed to be discharged, when their right to be discharged was not admitted.  They had behaved with unblemished fidelity and bravery; but, a change of circumstances had arisen, which, as they considere. . . Read More

Community Reviews

No tengo palabras para explicar cuanto adoro la técnica narrativa de este autor.

Lo primero que deben saber al encarar este libro es que probablemente sea una lectura pesada, pero muy profunda. La forma de describir el ambiente y sus pensamientos es casi poetica, increíble es saber que realmente es u

Dickens enjoys far more popularity as an author of fiction than of non-fiction, and rightly so. Although his first foray into publication as a young writer, “Sketches by Boz,” was indeed a collection of “slice of life” observations from his jaunts around London; his non-fiction prose never quite ris

"Reprinted Pieces" was the better of two uninspiring volumes, because it included some fiction. The non-fiction was, for the most part, dull and/or overwrought.

A rather odd eclectic set of short stories based on a travellers experience. Based in Dickens' other novels, I expected a lot more from this. In many parts rather disjointed. Some works though, very vivid. His description of the Lead Mills, rather similar to stories by H G Wells, such as 'The Vone'

Until I bought this book, I didn't know that Dickens wasn't only a novelist but also a journalist. I really liked that book with its sarcasm and it's truth within it.

I don't think Dickens's non-fiction ages as well as his fiction. I enjoyed this, but a lot if it went over my head and wasn't completely engaging.

Another grand work of Dickens's. This time a collection of separately published pieces formed as part of his own journal "All the Year Round". The character of the Uncommercial Traveller takes readers along a journey from Great Britain, through Europe and to America. As ever, the tone is delicately

The 37 pieces in this book were written in the 1860s, published in a weekly magazine/journal that Dickens ran, and later collected and printed in book form. They range fairly widely in theme and tone, but as Daniel Tyler argues in his introduction to the edition I read, they can be seen to make up "

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