Dickensís Working Notes for Dombey and Son

Dickensís Working Notes for Dombey and Son Tony Laing
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-223-3 £21.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78374-224-0 £34.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78374-225-7 £0.00
epub ISBN: 978-1-78374-226-4 £5.99
mobi ISBN: 978-1-78374-227-1 £5.99

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This book is the result of a huge amount of scholarly labour, is comprehensively thought through, clearly and scrupulously presented, and genuinely useful to Dickens scholars. Dickensís Working Notes for Dombey and Son is more accessible than the equivalent portion of Harry Stone's expensive standard publication, Dickens's Working Notes (1987), and superior in the quality and detail of the presentation, and the useful commentary, both to Stone and the various paperback editions of this pivotal novel in Dickens's career. Above all, it uses the possibilities of digital technology to very good effect: it makes an important advance on existing critical editions in its representation of Dickens's creative process.
óProf. Adrian Poole, University of Cambridge

This critical edition of the working notes for Dombey and Son (1848) is ideal for readers who wish to know more about Charles Dickensís craft and creativity. Drawing on the authorís manuscript in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Londonóand containing hyperlinked facsimilesóDickensís 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 Dickensís working methods visible. A special feature of our html edition is the high quality of images, which enable the reader to zoom in and out of the manuscript with ease and view small sections of the facsimile or transcription with a single touch.

John Mullan has called Dombey and Son Dickensís 'first great novel.' Set amid the coming of the railways, it tells the story of a powerful manótypical of the commercial and banking magnates of the periodóand 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 Dickensís art among teachers, students, researchers and Dickens enthusiasts.

As cultural tastes shift from print to digital, Dickensís Working Notes helps preserve Dickensís work for the future. The magnifying and linking functions of the edition mean that the notes are more easily and usefullyónot to mention accessiblyóexhibited 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 Dickensís own admission, has a special place in his development as a novelist.

Dickensís Working Notes for 'Dombey and Son'

Tony Laing | September 2017
224 | 62 colour illustrations | 8.25" x 10.75" (273 x 210 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783742233
ISBN Hardback: 9781783742240
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783742257
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783742264
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783742271
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0092
Subject codes: BIC: DSK (Literary studies: fiction, novelists and prose writers); BISAC: LIT004120 (Literary criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh), LIT024040 (Literary criticism / Modern / 19th Century)


Abbreviations, references and cross-references
General abbreviations used throughout

Section 1. Introduction to the working notes
Dickensís "green coverĒ novels
History of the working notes
Materials of the working notes

Section 2. Transcribing the worksheets
Basic issues
Special issues
Comparison with other transcriptions

Section 3. Procedures in the worksheets
Formatting the worksheet
Entries on the left-hand half
Entries on the right-hand half
Entries in the double number

Section 4. Introduction to the worksheets
Introduction to the facsimiles
Numbering the entries in the transcriptions
Deletion in transcription
Dickensís order of work as shown in the commentaries
Abbreviations and other conventions in the commentaries

Section 5. The worksheets
Worksheet for No.1 (verso)
Worksheet for No.1 (recto)
Worksheet for No.2
Worksheet for No.3
Worksheet for No.4
Worksheet for No.5
Worksheet for No.6
Worksheet for No.7
Worksheet for No.8
Worksheet for No.9
Worksheet for No.10
Worksheet for No.11
Worksheet for No.12
Worksheet for No.13
Worksheet for No.14
Worksheet for No.15
Worksheet for No.16
Worksheet for No.17
Worksheet for No.18
Worksheet for Nos.19 & 20

Section 6. Overview
Preliminary entries and the number of chapters
Chapter titles: When and where they are entered and revised
Memory, speech-making and planning
Chapter descriptions as plans
Chapter descriptions as summaries
Development of number and chapter planning in each quarter


A. Chapter number, title and length by part issue and date
B. Chapter title history with purpose and features of chapter description
C. Transcription of the List of Chapter Headings
D. Revisions to chapter titles in manuscript, worksheet and List
E. False starts in the manuscript at chapter openings
F. Use of blue inks in worksheet, manuscript, List and proofs


Tony Laing is a lifelong reader, teacher and admirer of Dickensís work. He has taught in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities in the UK, Before he retired, he was principal lecturer in English at Anglia Ruskin University and a recognized teacher of the Institute of Education in the University of London.