In Dickens's lifetime, and for a generation or so after, Edmund Hodgson Yates and George Augustus Sala were the best known and most successful of his "young men" - the budding writers who acknowledged him as their guide and mentor and whose literary careers the publicity and privately fostered. The book considers their personal and literary relationships with Dickens, with each other, and with other writers of the period, Bohemian and "respectable", including Yates's arch-enemy, his post-office colleague Anthony Trollope. But it also demonstrates that their life and writings - their fiction, private letters and occasional essays in verse and drama, as well as their already recognised contributions to the development of the "new journalism" - are interesting and historically illuminating in their own right, not merely pale reflections of the glory of greater writers. Extensive use is made of previously unpublished material.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Bohemians: 1851-1856; Personal Journalists: 1856-1863; Novelists: 1860-1874; 'Specials': 1863-1874; Gentlemen of the Press: 1874-1884; Ghosts: 1884-; Bibliography; Index.
’An invaluable resource for students of Victorian writing for many years to come.’ Australasian Victorian Studies Journal ’George Augustus Sala and Edmund Yates were two of Victorian England’s most innovative, successful and interesting journalists. Both left highly readable autobiographies which are full of valuable information about the worlds in which they moved, but reticent or silent about some of the most interesting details of their own lives..Peter Edward’s excellent dual biography goes a long way to redressing this neglect.’ Victorian Periodicals Review ’Edwards adroitly assembles information both from the public domain and from beyond its reach..Glancing again..at the sheer wealth of information ably presented in Dicken’s Young Men, scrupulously referenced, enlivened by an excellent selection of illustrations and complemented by a full bibliography and efficient index, I think a wide cross-section of readers will have little reason to regret Edward’s sticking so closely to the facts.’ Dickens Quarterly ’This is a fascinating work, giving an account of the careers of Edmund Yates and George August Sala, and opening a way into what has been a shadowy world. The subjects have always been there, but they are now vigorously expounded from extensive and newly discovered materials as well as the two authors’ barely known or entirely forgotten books, lives, letters and writings...The accepted canons of literature and journalism are temporarily broken down, giving perceptive readers a chance to look afresh at the people and writers of the time.’ Notes and Queries ’Edwards’ scholarship is impeccable and his writing lucid...Dickens’s Young Men can be confidently recommended to anyone interested in the Victorian literary scene. In ways that a brief review can only suggest, it brings to life a busy, exciting, creative, sometimes sordid segment of that period.’ Nineteenth-Century Prose ’Peter Edwardsâ