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Hunted Down: The Detective Stories of Charles Dickens

Overview

Charles Dickens was a pioneer of detective fiction, and Hunted Down assembles a fascinating selection of his work in which the men of the law make their mark. Their working methods were based on his observations of the fledgling police detective force when he was a solicitor's clerk and reporter and witnessed the workings of police stations and accompanied detectives on their nightly street patrols in London; he also attended magistrates' courts and was present at murder trials and public executions. Out of these...
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Hunted Down- The Detective Stories of Charles Dickens

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Overview

Charles Dickens was a pioneer of detective fiction, and Hunted Down assembles a fascinating selection of his work in which the men of the law make their mark. Their working methods were based on his observations of the fledgling police detective force when he was a solicitor's clerk and reporter and witnessed the workings of police stations and accompanied detectives on their nightly street patrols in London; he also attended magistrates' courts and was present at murder trials and public executions. Out of these observations grew Mr. Nadgett in Martin Chuzzlewit, the first serious detective in an English novel, and Inspector Bucket in Bleak House, who solves the murder of an unscrupulous lawyer. The assorted cast includes an amateur detective, a river policeman and the prototype of all undercover detectives.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One might not necessarily think of Dickens as a mystery writer, but detectives and criminals do figure into much of his work. This 1996 volume gathers a dozen of his stories featuring cops of one kind or another. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This collection reaffirms that the influence of Charles Dickens on the development and achievements of detective fiction is unchallengeable."  —P. D. James, The Times
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens
Peter Haining was a celebrated anthologist and author whose anthologies include The Golden Age of Crime Fiction and The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Table of Contents

1 Nemesis 23
2 The drunkard's death 44
3 The automaton police 56
4 The modern science of thief-taking 61
5 A detective police party 71
6 Three 'detective' anecdotes 91
7 The metropolitan protectives 101
8 On duty with Inspector Field 123
9 Down with the tide 137
10 Inspector Bucket's job 148
11 Hunted down 174
12 Poor mercantile Jack 197
The Edwin Drood syndicate 210
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