08/02/2023

Dickens /Minor /The Uncommercial Traveller

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The Uncommercial Traveller – 1861, 1865, 1874, 1898 – a minor work


Seventeen sketches were initially taken from his All the Year Round weekly magazine in 1861, and other pieces were added over the years – eleven in the 1865, eight in 1874 (after his death) and one in 1898 – making a total of 37.

The series seems to have been inspired by a number of ideas. A month before he published his first Uncommercial paper, he spoke at the annual dinner of the Commercial Travellers’ School Board. This prompted Dickens to wonder whether ‘anything could be do done with the word Travellers’. It was also around this time that a Commercial Treaty was signed with France, which divided the nation.

But he was perhaps responding to William Makepeace Thackeray’s monthly magazine, the Cornhill Magazine, selling for one shilling, thus three-pence more than his All the Year Round. Thackeray published 34 Roundabout Papers, Dickens, by his death had published only 28 – though after death this was boosted to 37.

Chapter I – His General Line of Business
– 28 Jan 1860 All the Year Round
Introducing the series, with Dickens as the Uncommercial Traveller
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter II – The Shipwreck
– 28 Jan 1860 All the Year Round
Reports visiting the wreck of the Royal Charter on 26 Oct 1859
·       Hughes, Reverend Hugh Robert
·       Hughes, Reverend Stephen Roose
Chapter III – Wapping Workhouse
– 18 Feb 1960 All the Year Round
Visit to the Wapping workhouse, condemned in a recent report by The Times
·       Baker, Mr
·       Oakum Head
·       Chief of the Refactories
·       Refractory One
·       Refractory Two
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter IV – Two Views of a Cheap Theatre
– 25 Feb 1860 All the Year Round
Two visits to the Britannia Theatre in Hoxton, one of a pantomime and melodrama, the second being a religious servce
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter V – Poor Mercantile Jack
– 10 Mar 1860 All the Year Round
A visit to the Liverpool Docks, accompanied by a police superintendent
·       Antonio
·       Bones, Banjo and Mrs
·       Darby, Mr and Mrs
·       Jack
·       Pegg aka Waterhouse
·       Quickear
·       Sharpeye
·       Trampfoot
·       Waterhouse
·       White, Betsy
Chapter VI – Refreshments for Travellers
– 24 Mar 1860 All the Year Round
His commentson the inconvenience of travel
·       Bogles, Mrs
·       Grazinglands, Alexander
·       Grazinglands, Arabella
Chapter VII – Travelling Abroad
– 7 Apr 1860 All the Year Round
Report of travels to Paris and on to Switzerland, Includes a piece on the ‘queer small boy’.
·       Straudenheim
Chapter VIII – The Great Tasmania’s Cargo
– 21 Apr 1860 All the Year Round
Visit to the workhouse in Liverpool, where dead and dying soldiers have returned form India aboard the Great Tasmania
·       Pangloss
·       Sergeant, The
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter IX – City of London Churches
– 5 May 1860 All the Year Round
Reports a year of Sundays in the ill-attended old churches of London
·       Angelica
·       Boiler, Rev Boanerges
Chapter X – Shy Neighbourhoods
– 26 May 1860 All the Year Round
Considers the peculiarities of pets in obscure London area
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XI – Tramps
– 16 Jun 1860 All the Year Round
Describes various kinds of tramps on the summertime country roads
·       Anderson, John
·       Anderson, Mrs
Chapter XII – Dullborough Town
– 30 Jun 1860 All the Year Round
A visit to the hometown of Dicken’s youth, Chatham
·       Green, Lucy
·       Specks, Joe
Chapter XIII – Night Walks
– 21 Jul 1860 All the Year Round
Unable to sleep the UT walks around Covent Garden, Newgate and Westminster Abbey
·       Kinch, Horace
Chapter XIV – Chambers
– 18 Aug 1860 All the Year Round
Description of the lives of men who live in chambers in the Inns of Court
·       Miggot, Mrs
·       Parkle
·       Sweeney, Mrs
·       Testator, Mr
Chapter XV – Nurse’s Stories
– 8 Sep 1860 All the Year Round
Imaginary visits to places in books of hi youth, that he has never visited. Also an account of him being terrified by scary stories related to him by his nurse
·       Chips
·       Mercy
·       Murderer, Captain
Chapter XVI – Arcadian London
– 29 Sep 1860 All the Year Round
An account of a deserted London, out of season.
·       Klem, Miss
·       Klem, Mr
·       Klem, Mrs
Chapter XVII – The Italian Prisoner
– 13 Oct 1860 All the Year Round
While touring Italy the UT meets with a political ex-prisoner now a wine merchant, and his undertaking to deliver a large bottle back to the man’s benefactor in England.
·       Carlavero, Giovanni
Chapter XVIII – The Calais Night Mail
– 2 May 1863 All the Year Round
A journey from Dover To Calais by steamer, and on to Paris on the night express.
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XIX – Some Recollections of Mortality
– 16 May 1863 All the Year Round
Three accounts of death: pressing with the crowd to see the body of an old man in Paris, of a woman drowned in the Regents Canal; and serving on an inquest of a young mother whose baby has died.
·       Beadle, The

Chapter XX – Birthday Celebrations
– 6 Jun 1863 All the Year Round
Accounts of Birthday celebrations of others, himself, Shakespeare…
·       Flipfield Family
·       Globson, Bully
·       Onowenever, Miss
·       Onowenever, Mrs
·       Sleek, Dr
Chapter XXI – The Short-Timers
– 20 Jun 1863 All the Year Round
An account of a Stepney workhouse sponsored educational system of which he approved. The students attended half of the school course, then the other half worked in industry.
·       Chadwick, Mr
·       Owen, Professor
·       Skipper
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XXII – Bound for the Great Salt Lake
– 4 Jul 1863 All the Year Round
An account of 800 Mormons boarding a ship to New York. Their onward journey includes a train to the Missouri and a wagon train to Utah.
·       Cleverly, Susannah
·       Cleverly, William
·       Dibble, Dorothy
·       Dibble, Sampson
·       Jane
·       Jessie ‘one and two’
·       Jobson, Brigham
·       Leonardo
·       Matilda ‘one and two’
·       Orson
·       Sophronia
·       Weedle, Anastatia
·       William
Chapter XXIII – The City of the Absent
– 18 Jul 1863 All the Year Round
A tour of the deserted streets of the City of London at the weekend
·       Celia
·       Joseph
Chapter XXIV – An Old Stage-coaching House
– 1 Aug 1863 All the Year Round
A visit to a coaching inn, the Dolphin’s Head, commenting on how the town has deteriorated since rail had supplanted coaches.
·       George
·       Mellows, J
Chapter XXV – The Boiled Beef of New England
– 15 Aug 1863 All the Year Round
Description of a fourpence-halfpenny meal for the working class, and comparing it favourably against a meal twelve times the cost at his Pall Mall club.
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XXVI – Chatham Dockyard
– 29 Aug 1863 All the Year Round
A Medway visit to the Dockyard and the warship Achilles
·       Spirit of the Fort
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XXVII – In the French-Flemish Country
– 12 Sep 1863 All the Year Round
A trip by train to Flanders including a theatre visit and a fair,
·       Salcy Family
Chapter XXVIII – Medicine Men of Civilisation
– 26 Sep 1863 All the Year Round
A pondering of rituals and the government.
·       Flanders, Sally
·       Kindheart, Mr
Chapter XXIX – Titbull’s Alms-Houses
– 24 Oct 1863 All the Year Round
A description of those living in alms-houses set up by Sampson Titbull in 1723. The way the residents keep tabs on each other, and rail against the Trustees.
·       Battens, Mr
·       Mitts, Mrs
·       Quinch, Mrs
·       Saggers, Mrs
·       Titbull, Sampson
Chapter XXX – The Ruffian
– 10 Oct 1868 All the Year Round
A complaint about ruffianism and an account of charges brought agains a girl for bad language.
·       Girl
·       Magistrate, The
·       Police constable
·       Ruffians
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XXXI – Aboard Ship
– 5 Dec 1868 All the Year Round
A report of his return from New York to Liverpool on the steamship SS Russia across Apr-May of 1868.
·       John
Chapter XXXII – A Small Star in the East
– 19 Jun 1868 All the Year Round
A visit to Ratcliff and an account of humble abodes there, where he encounters poor families with starving children. And, a much brighter account of the East London Children’s Hospital, run by a young doctor and his wife.
·       Coal-porter’s wife
·       Decent Woman
·       Irish woman, The
·       John the ‘boilermaker’
·       John’s wife
·       Married daughter, The
·       Nurse, The
Chapter XXXIII – A Little Dinner in an Hour
– 19 Jun 1868 All the Year Round
An account of a terrible dining experience of his friend, Bullfinch, in an unnamed location.
·       Bullfinch
·       Cocker, Indignation
Chapter XXXIV – Mr Barlow
– 16 Jan 1869 All the Year Round
A reflection on a tutor from his youth.
·       Mr Barlow
Chapter XXXV – On an Amateur Beat
– 27 Feb 1869 All the Year Round
Imagining himself a policeman on the beat in East London. He visits the Children’s Hospital and the Lead-mills,
·       The Uncommercial Traveller
Chapter XXXVI – A Fly-Leaf in a Life
– 22 May 1869 All the Year Round
Unwell and ordered to bed-rest he compares his condition with that of Merdle in Little Dorrit.
·       Merdle, Mr (Fictional – Little Dorrit)
Chapter XXXVII – A Plea for Total Abstinence  
– 5 Jun 1869 All the Year Round
A report of a Temperance Rally in which some were over-burdening their horses. His belief about Temperance is that there can be use without abuse, he is drawn to ponder a law that stops the use of all horses, whether abused or not.
·       The Uncommercial Traveller

Forward to Mrs Lirriper’s LodgingHis LifeHis WorksHis Characters – Go to Bob Denton.com

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