Dickens’s Working Notes for 'Dombey and Son'
This critical edition of the working notes for Dombey and Son (1848) is ideal for readers who wish to know more about Charles Dickens’s craft and creativity. Drawing on the author’s manuscript in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London—and containing hyperlinked facsimiles—Dickens’s Working Notes for Dombey and Son offers a new digital transcription with a fresh commentary by Tony Laing. Unique and innovative, this is the only edition to make Dickens’s working methods visible. John Mullan has called Dombey and Son Dickens’s 'first great novel.' Set amid the coming of the railways, it tells the story of a powerful man—typical of the commercial and banking magnates of the period—and the effect he has on his family and those around him. Laing presents the worksheets and other materials (transcribed for the first time) that together grew into the novel. Reading the book alongside this edition of the notes enlarges the understanding of Dickens’s art among teachers, students, researchers and Dickens enthusiasts. As cultural tastes shift from print to digital, Dickens’s Working Notes helps preserve Dickens’s work for the future. The magnifying and linking functions of the edition mean that the notes are more easily and usefully—not to mention accessibly—exhibited here than elsewhere. Laing gives present-day readers the chance not only to recapture the effect of serial publication but also to gain greater insight into the making of a work which, by general agreement and Dickens’s own admission, has a special place in his development as a novelist.