Biography:

One of their most recent publications is The Bride and Bridegroom: Furnival's Inn, Early May 1836. Which was published in journal .

More information about HELEN COX research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

HELEN COX's Articles: (25)

The Bride and Bridegroom: Furnival's Inn, Early May 1836

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how Catherine and Charles Dickens got married on April 2, 1836, at The Chelsea Church of St. Luke's. Both spent a short honeymoon afterwards in the Kent village of Chalk. Thomas Beard supervised all the arrangements of their marriage. Beard was a young man Dickens had met when, in 1832, they were both reporters in the Gallery of the House of Commons. Beard was at that time on the staff of the Morning Chronicle and when Dickens, with the help of his Uncle Barrow, applied for the job of reporter there, Tom put in a good word for him, describing him as the fastest and most accurate man in the Gallery. Dickens got the job. At the time of his wedding, Dickens was 24 and already recognized as a writer of merit. His penetrating and entertaining Sketches by Boz were being eagerly read and attracted the attention of editors and publishers. John Macrone, a young publisher of 3, St. James Square, had produced the Sketches in book form and it was the fee of £150 for the Edition that enabled Dickens to set a date for his wedding. The offer from Chapman & Hall that launched the first great novel, bringing in a further £14 per month, was another incentive.

A Musical Evening: Furnival's Inn, July 23rd, 1836

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how Charles sent invitations to his friends and family members to a musical evening. Charles had a strong affinity with the theater and at the age of 20 made a serious attempt to be accepted as an actor. But on the day of his audition, he was ill with a bad cold and inflamed and swollen face. He expected the setback to be only temporary but by the time, another audition was possible the success of his Sketches told him that his true vocation lay in writing. But he did not end contact with people from the theater industry. Now, in 1836, his play The Strange Gentleman was in rehearsal at the new St. James's Theater in London and he had just finished writing his Operetta The Village Coquettes. He invited publisher John Macrone and his wife to the event. Among the friends musical would be John Hullah who had written the music for the operetta; Dickens's father-in-law, George Hogarth, Theatrical and musical critic of the Morning Chronicle; and his sister Fanny who had studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

Portraits;: Doughty Street, October 1837

Publisher SummaryThis chapter discusses how George Cruikshank, Samuel Laurence, and Daniel Maclise did drawings and paintings of Dickens and his wife at Doughty Street. The differences in interpretation indicate how completely at the mercy of the artist a sitter could be. Cruikshank is chiefly remembered for his remarkable interpretations of many of Dickens' characters. The description of Dickens' appearance before he grew a moustache was given by his eldest son in his reminiscences. He stated that it was impossible for a painter to quite catch the brightness and alertness of look and manner that distinguished the sitter in so remarkable degree.

Gruesome Visits, then Home to Dinner: Doughty Street, April 30th, 1837

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes Charles Dickens' visit to Coldbath Fields House of Correction and Newgate Prison along with his friends and their return to Doughty Street for dinner. Philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts helped Dickens' cause for the downtrodden and the prisoners. Coldbath Fields especially interested her. Her father, from whom she had inherited her radical beliefs had, a generation before, brought furious wrath down upon himself for daring to expose the treatment of inmates there. On the way home, the men visited Newgate Prison, an even more gruesome place. Opposite was a pillory, a whipping post, and gallows, where hangings were still held in public. The four who accompanied Dickens were William Macready—who was the top actor of the day and another of Mr. and Mrs. Dickens's lifelong friends—John Forster, George Cattermole—painter and illustrator who did drawings for the Old Curiosity Shopand Barnaby Radge—and Halbot Browne. After the visits, they returned to Doughty Street for dinner. J.P.Harley, Kate's parents, and Mr. G. L. Banks, brother-in-law of the artist Daniel Maclise were also invited for the dinner. The servings included quick pear meringue; cauliflower with asparagus sauce; giblet soup; and pheasanten casserole.

Summer Guests Destined for Fame: 4 Ailsa Park Villas, Twickenham, June 1838

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how some of the guests who attended dinners hosted at Twickenham and Broadstairs were destined for fame. Charles took a cottage for June and July at Twickenham and for August one at Broadstairs. At both places, Kate and Charles entertained generously and at this dinner, all four guests were destined for fame. They were John Forster, Daniel Maclise, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Douglas Jerrold. Thackeray, one year older than Dickens, had been a contender, after the death by suicide of the artist Robert Seymour, for the job of illustrator of The Pickwick Papers but lost to Halbot Browne, the very successful Phiz as a novelist, particularly as the author of Vanity Fair, Pendennis, and The Newcombes; he was to find fame almost as great as Dickens himself. He died in 1853 at the age of 52. Douglas Jerrold was another writer whose name is listed among the Famous Victorians. He was the author of over seventy plays and many novels, some of which appeared serially in Punch. Two of his plays were Rent Day and Black-Eyed Susan, and his best known novel was Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures.

Gathering of Relatives: Doughty Street, May 1839

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how Charles Dickens invited his relatives over a dinner in keeping with the sense of duty instilled by his father John Dickens towards relatives. Charles wrote to William Longman, a publisher and bookseller, refusing to accept the latter's dinner invitation. Charles explained in the letter how he had organized an annual family gathering for a dinner at home, inviting uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins. The menu for the dinner included oxtail soup; cod with oyster sauce; roast saddle of mutton; pork cutlets; kalecannon; mashed and brown potatoes; roast pheasants salad; souffle pudding; mince pies; and anchovy toast.

Famous Scottish Guests: Devonshire Terrace, Early April 1841

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes Charles Dickens' invitation to famous Scottish guests for dinner at Devonshire Terrace, early April 1841. At this dinner, the two Scottish guests were Thomas Carlyle and his wife and Lord Jeffrey, down from Edinburgh. Some may know Carlyle best for his famous Sartor Resartus, but the books Dickens carried around with him and devoured were The Chartists and The French Revolution.”Jane his wife sounds rather a caustic lady. She thought that Mrs. Dickens's Dinner table was rather overdone with its great dishes of dessert and the vases of artificial flowers. The menu for the dinner included baked and stuffed haddock; broiled fowl with mushrooms; minced collops; and mashed and brown potatoes.

Walter Landor Attends the Christening of Walter Landor: Devonshire Terrace, December 1841

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how poet Walter Savage Landor attends the christening of Charles Dickens' second son named after him at Devonshire Terrace, December 1841. The christening ceremony took place at the end of the year and the two Walter Savage Landors, one with Dickens added, met for the first time. Landor was sixty-six years older than his young namesake and his works are still considered to be classics. At that time, he was living in Bath and Dickens and his friends made several pilgrimages there to bask in his eloquence, charm, and learning. He had led a remarkably varied life. Most of it had been spent on the Continent and while there he had raised an army and accompanied it to fight the Peninsular War. When he returned to England, he bought Llanthony Abbey in Wales and wrote his Imaginary Conversations, published in 1829. The Pentameron appeared in 1837. He died in Florence in 1864. The menu for dinner at the ceremony included assorted sandwiches; buttered pikelets; queen cakes; scotch shortbread; and petit fours.

Triumph in America: A Transatlantic Menu

Publisher SummaryThis chapter discusses the reception Charles Dickens and his wife got after arrival at Halifax and Boston. Charles' wife joy, however, was dampened by toothache and a swollen face. With her charming new dresses, her peaches and cream complexion, and large blue eyes, she should have been a sensation, but for the untimely bad health. Dickens's appearance surprised the Americans. They could hardly believe that this young man, still in his twenties, with the fresh, almost girlish face, keen laughing eyes and foppish dress could be the author whose pen could wield such power for good and reveal such a depth of human understanding. Dickens expected mainly to be welcomed as a successful novelist, but instead he found that it was his interest in reform and education that excited the greatest adulation.

A Continental Trek: Italy, 1844–5

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how Charles Dickens arranged a big carriage to be towed by four sturdy horses to accommodate his family and his entourage to go to Italy in 1844. The experiment proved to be a great success. The children did not cry during the journey and the carriage went on smoothly over rough roads. However, the Villa Bella Vista at Alvaro was far from the house of their dreams. They went in through a rusty creaking gate and overgrown vineyard and garden and drew up before a house that looked to Dickens like a disused pink jail. Inside was as disappointing and Kate's heart sank when she saw the stiff uninviting furniture, the rats and lizard scuttling around the empty rooms, and the armies of fleas making a flea-line for Timber Doodle the dog. They decided to move from the Villa of the Beautiful view the moment they could find another abode. Meanwhile, Dickens wrote long letters to his friends, went out to examine the environment, and did a crash course in Italian.

Play-Acting: Devonshire Terrace, Late June 1845

Publisher SummaryThis chapter describes how Charles Dickens invited his friends over dinner after returning from Italy to Devonshire Terrace, in lateJune 1845 to discuss with them about fulfilling his desire for play-acting. After much discussion, they agreed to find a theater and stage Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humor and to take the parts themselves. The cast-elect were Forster; Jerrold; Cattermole; Maclise; John Leech, T.J. Thompson; Frank Stone, and Mark Lemon. The play was put on at the Royalty Theater in Dean Street, London on September 21st and brought rave notices from the critics. Meanwhile, Charles worked for the Daily News, making it a vehicle for his radical ideas, especially concerning the Ragged Schools for the education of the ignorant poor. The menu for the dinner included cod with oyster sauce; roast leg of mutton with veal stuffing; mashed and brown potatoes; and macaroni savory.

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