Charles Dickens: Sketches by 'Boz', Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People

(2674 words)
  • Amy R. Wong (University of California, Los Angeles)

With The Pickwick Papers (1836-1837), Charles Dickens’s Sketches by Boz, a collection of short pieces of literary journalism, marked the beginning of the young author’s success as a professional writer. Although critics generally look to Pickwick for the origins of Dickens’s success as a novelist later in his career, the work in Sketches was Dickens’s first taste of success as a paid contributor to the periodical press. Dickens originally published most of the pieces collected under Sketches in a wide variety of different newspapers and periodicals between December 1833 and December 1836, at the beginning struggling just to appear in print. In fact, a twenty-one year old Dickens agreed to offer …

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Wong, Amy R.. "Sketches by 'Boz', Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 December 2011
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]