As with his American Notes of 1842, Charles Dickens based Pictures from Italy largely on the letters he had written to John Forster. Most of the eventual text was put together between December 1845 and February 1846 and it appeared in the Daily News of 1846 as Travelling Letters Written on the Road, only acquiring its present title when published in book form, with five extra chapters, by Bradbury and Evans the same year.
The book opens with a preface entitled “The Reader’s Passport” in which Dickens sets out his stall. He insists he is not offering anything like a conventional travelogue – he adds a reminder that such guides are widely available already; he will not be discussing the politics of Italy, nor will he be giving any detailed attention to its famous works of art.
Citation: Spencer, Luke. "Pictures from Italy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40091, accessed 04 December 2023.]