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BASIS for CHARACTERS in DICKENS NOVELS
* Excerpt from “The Letters of Charles Dickens – Vol 1 (of 3), 1833-1856”
FURNIVAL’S INN, Wednesday Evening 1835
MY DEAREST KATE,
I have at this moment got Pickwick and his friends on the Rochester coach, and they are going on swimmingly, in company with a very different character from any I have yet described, who I flatter myself will make a decided hit. I want to get them from the ball to the inn before I go to bed; and I think that will take me until one or two o’clock at the earliest. The publishers will be here in the morning, so you will readily suppose I have no alternative but to stick at my desk.
* EXTRACT from the PREFACE to NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
“With that intent I went down into Yorkshire before I began this book, in very severe winter time which is pretty faithfully described herein. As I wanted to see a schoolmaster or two, and was forewarned that those gentlemen might, in their modesty, be shy of receiving a visit from the author of the "Pickwick Papers,”
“Dickens was a frequent visitor to Manchester, taking the platform at Athenaeum meetings alongside reformers and notables such as Benjamin Disraeli.
He reputedly based the character of the crippled Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol on the son of a friend who owned an Ardwick cotton mill, while the Grant Brothers, William and Daniel, the Ramsbottom industrialists, were the prototypes for the Cheeryble brothers in Nicholas Nickleby.”