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Literatures in English: Dickens

This page lists sources that cover multiple periods, genres, and/or nationalities. See additional resources in the "Historical Literary Period" and "Geographical Region" pages.

First, Early, or Rare Editions of Dickens in UCSD Special Collections & Archives

Listed in order of publication.

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. First edition. The original parts, but they have been bound together. London: Chapman & Hall, 1837. 20 parts in 19. The illustrators are: Robert Seymour (#1-2), Robert W. Buss (#3), and Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz") (#4-20).  RARE PR 4569 .A1 1837

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.  First American edition. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1837. 5 volumes. UCSD set mixed: title page of volume 1 indicates "3rd ed." (i.e., printing). RARE PR 4569 .A1 1837a 

Oliver Twist. Second edition. London: R. Bentley, 1838. 3 volumes. Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Previously published as 1 volume; this set published with circulating libraries in mind. UCSD has only volume 1.

Master Humphrey's Clock / Old Curiosity Shop. London: Chapman & Hall, 1840-1841. 2 vols. Illustrations by George Cattermole and Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). RARE PR 4566 .A1 1840

The Personal History, Adventures, Experience & Observation of  David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (which he never meant to be published on any account). London: Bradbury & Evans, 1849-1850. The original edition, in monthly parts, with original wrappers, which appeared before it was published as a book.. All illustrations are by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). RARE PR 4558 .A1 1849

Christmas Books. First edition of this collection. London: Chapman & Hall, 1852. A volume in the publishe's "Cheap Edition" series. Illustrations by John Leech. Consists of A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man.

Christmas Books. First American "edition." London: Chapman & Hall, n.d.  Illustrations by F. Barnard. Stamped on front cover: "New York D. Appleton & Co." Published as one of Appleton's "Household Edition."

Bleak House. First edition, in monthly parts. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1853. 20 parts in 19, with original wrappers. All illustrations are by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz").  RARE PR 4556 .A1 1853.  Note: Special Collections also has a second set, which was bound as a book, but it is extremely fragile.

Household Words. "Conducted" (edited) by Charles Dickens. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1850-1859. (UCSD has only the issues published in 1855). RARE AP 4 .H9

Little Dorrit. First edition as a bound book. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1857. All illustrations are by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). RARE PR 4562 .A1 1857

Our Mutual Friend. London: Chapman & Hall, 1865. The original 20 parts, bound into two volumes. RARE PR 4568 .A1 1865

Little Dorrit. Household edition in parts, 1873. Uncataloged.



UC Library Search

To find the Library's books BY Charles Dickens, change Keyword to Author and type Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.

To discover the Library's books ABOUT Dickens, change the Keyword to Subject. Type Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870. Books about Dickens are categorized alphabetically by broad topic or type of book. For example:

  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870--Characters--Orphans
  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870--Criticism and Interpretation
  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870--Illustrations

For books that focus on one of Dickens' novels, type the title after Dickens' name. For example:

  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870--Oliver Twist
  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870--Great Expectations--Sources

Scholarly Articles about Dickens



  • Search "Dickens, Charles" as a Subject + other Keywords or Subjects
  • Use an asterisk to truncate a word. For example use Orphan* to also search for orphans, orphanage, and orphanages
  • If the full-text of an article is not in the database you are looking in, use UC-elinks to search across all of UCSD databases


Online Sources about Dickens and His Times

Bentley's Miscellany A British literary magazine started by Richard Bentley. Dickens was the first editor but quit in 1839.

The Victorian Web. One of the oldest scholarly websites in the humanities, it links over 81,000 documents about all aspects of Victorian life. Read the Introduction first.

Charles Dickens Resources from the British Library. A short biography and links to selected full texts, images, articles, and talks about Dickens and his literary environment.

C19: The Nineteenth Century Index A crucial bibliographical megasite for information about books, periodicals, newspapers, and archives from the Nineteenth Century, particularly from Britain and North America.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online. This large resource consists of 4 separate archives of material--newspaper and magazine articles, government reports, maps, photographs, and ephemeral materials (theater playbills, etc.). The two that are most relevant for the study of Dickens are: British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture and British Politics and Society. They can be searched together or separately. Together, they provide a lot of primary material about poverty and poorhouses, orphanages, inheritance laws, details of the city of London, the British perspective on social upheavals in France, etc.  

The Dickens Project. A portal to lots of things about Dickens, although not as much full text or as detail as The Victorian Web. Maintained at UC Santa Cruz.

Charles Dickens in the Marketplace. Online catalog accompanying an exhibit at the Vassar College Library in 2009.

Charles Dickens at 200: A Christmas Carol. From a major exhibition of Dickens' manuscripts and correspondence owned by the Morgan Library in New York City, this online exhibit features a facsimile of the original 1843 manuscript of A Christmas Carol.

At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837-1901. This source contains abundant bibliographical information and publishing statistics; it doesn't contain full texts.



Illustration Techniques and Illustrators

The best short introduction to the two types of illustration techniques--wood engraving and etching on metal plates--used by Dickens and his contemporaries appears on "The Technologies of Nineteenth Century Illustration.   

Best books about Dickens's illustrators:



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Nina Mamikunian
Subjects: Literatures in English, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Theory, Writing, Theatre & Dance, Archive for New Poetry