Dickens’ Love and Hate for America



On the 2nd of December 1867, Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States at the Tremont Temple, Boston where he read A Christmas Carol (1843) to an American audience for the first time. This was his second and final trip to the New World – three years later, after a long illness he would die of a stroke at his house in Higham, near Rochester, Kent. Whilst the purpose for his first visit in 1842 was to collect material for a travel book, his second in 1867-68 continued his English tour of public literary readings in the States. On both occasions he was received with great acclaim. When he first arrived with his wife in 1842, “From the American point of view, Dickens was the one author they ‘claimed equally for their own’. They saw in him an ’embodied protest against what was…

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