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The Victorian Funeral
At the death of Anthony Chuzzlewit Mr. Mould, the undertaker, provides the customary 19th century funeral which Dickens mocks in many of his novels. Paid mourners and mutes (most likely drunks) follow the hearse feigning grief for the departed. Those in attendance were provided black ribbons, gloves, and scarves. Black feathers adorned the horses and hearse.

At Anthony's funeral the only person to feel honest emotion for the departed, Mr Chuffey, is rebuked by the other 'mourners'.
Dickens' will directed that 'those attending my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity'.

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Meet Mrs Gamp

Mrs Gamp Even among the bizarre cast of characters in Dickens, Mrs Gamp is a piece of work. She is a nurse of sorts whose specialty lies in the polar extremities of life, the lying in and the laying out. More...

Dickens' life during the serialization of Martin Chuzzlewit
Jan 1843 - Jul 1844

Dickens' age: 30-32

January 1843

December 1843

A Christmas Carol published

January 1844

Son Francis Jeffrey (Frank) Dickens born

June 1844

A falling out with publishers Chapman and Hall, brewing since A Christmas Carol wasn't as profitable as he hoped, Dickens moves to new publishers Bradbury and Evans.

July 1844

After finishing Martin Chuzzlewit Dickens and family travel to Genoa, Italy for nearly a year.

Buy Dickens at Huckleberry and Hodge

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Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit - Published in monthly parts Jan 1843 - July 1844
Read it online | Shop for the Book | Shop for the Video | Illustrations | Locations

Illustration by Phiz Dickens sixth novel, written after taking a year off during which he visited America for the first time, was less than enthusiastically received. The novel deals with the greed of Old Martin's relatives, chiefly Mr. Pecksniff, hoping to inherit his wealth.

In the sixth installment, hoping to fend off lagging sales, Dickens has young Martin Chuzzlewit, the old man's grandson, go off to America. Dickens goes on to vent some of his ill feelings for the former colony he recently visited, American audiences were outraged.

In preparing installments of Martin Chuzzlewit Dickens began developing a design for the entire novel in advance of the monthly numbers. This represents a change from his early novels and is further developed in his next novel, Dombey and Son.

During the writing of Martin Chuzzlewit, and sales of the monthly parts disappointingly low, Dickens was experiencing financial difficulty. He had borrowed from his publishers for his American trip in 1842 and his wife Kate was expecting their fifth child. He responded by planning a small book for the Christmas season of 1843 which followed the theme of greed he was writing in Martin Chuzzlewit. The result was the classic A Christmas Carol, published in December 1843.

Character descriptions contain spoilers
Bailey (Benjamin)
Mr Bevan
Julius Washington Merryweather Bib
Jefferson Brick
Mrs Jefferson Brick
Oscar Buffam
General Cyrus Choke
Hannibal Chollop
Anthony Chuzzlewit
Diggory Chuzzlewit
George Chuzzlewit
Jonas Chuzzlewit
Old Martin Chuzzlewit
Martin Chuzzlewit
Toby Chuzzlewit
Miss Codger
David Crimple
Colonel Diver
Dr Ginery Dunkle
Mr Fips
General Fladdock
Sairey Gamp
Mr Gander
Mr and Mrs Gill
Mary Graham
Colonel Groper
Mrs Harris
Tommy Harris
Hominy Family
Mr Izzard
Mr Jinkins
Dr Jobling
Mr Jodd
Captain Kedgick
La Fayette Kettle
Lummy Ned
Mrs Lupin
Augustus Moddle
Mr Mould
Professor Mullit
Mrs Ned
Norris family
Major Pawkins
Mrs Pawkins
Charity (Cherry) Pecksniff
Mercy (Merry) Pecksniff
Seth Pecksniff
Mrs Perkins
Tom Pinch
Ruth Pinch
Mr Pip
Professor Piper
Elijah Pogram
Betsy Prig
Zephaniah Scadder
William Simmons
Chevy Slyme
Putnam Smif
Chicken Smivey
Mr Spottletoe
Mrs Spottletoe
Paul (Poll) Sweedlepipe
Mark Tapley
Montigue Tigg (Tigg Montigue)
Mr Todgers
Mrs Todgers
Miss Toppit
John Westlock
Mr Whilks
Mrs White
Mr Wolf

American Characters

During Dickens trip to America in 1842 he is amazed at the American practice of bestowing honorary military titles. Thus many of the characters Mark and Martin meet in America sport these bogus titles.

Dickens paints most of the American characters as tobacco chewing buffoons who place gain above honor.

Martin Chuzzlewit Links:
Hidden London - Martin Chuzzlewit
Dickens Possibly Influenced Sweeney Todd - by Herb Moskovitz

Sherry Cobbler

Sherry CobblerDickens had sampled Sherry Cobblers during his 1842 trip to America and had mentioned the drink in American Notes but in Martin Chuzzlewit Dickens is credited with introducing this American phenomenon to the world as Martin Chuzzlewit and Mark Tapley go to America to seek their fortunes. With Martin feeling discouraged at their prospects Mark attempts to revive his spirits:

He produced a very large tumbler, piled up to the brim with little blocks of clear transparent ice, through which one or two thin slices of lemon, and a golden liquid of delicious appearance, appealed from the still depths below, to the loving eye of the spectator.

'What do you call this?' said Martin.

But Mr Tapley made no answer; merely plunging a reed into the mixture--which caused a pleasant commotion among the pieces of ice-- and signifying by an expressive gesture that it was to be pumped up through that agency by the enraptured drinker.

Martin took the glass with an astonished look; applied his lips to the reed; and cast up his eyes once in ecstasy. He paused no more until the goblet was drained to the last drop.

'There, sir!' said Mark, taking it from him with a triumphant face; 'if ever you should happen to be dead beat again, when I ain't in the way, all you've got to do is to ask the nearest man to go and fetch a cobbler.'

'To go and fetch a cobbler?' repeated Martin.

'This wonderful invention, sir,' said Mark, tenderly patting the empty glass, 'is called a cobbler. Sherry cobbler when you name it long; cobbler, when you name it short. Now you're equal to having your boots took off, and are, in every particular worth mentioning, another man.'

The 1862 Bar-Tenders Guide includes a recipe for Sherry Cobbler:

(Use large bar glass)
2 wine-glasses of sherry
1 table-spoonful of sugar
2 or 3 slices of orange
Fill a tumbler with shaved ice, shake well, and ornament with berries in season. Drink through a straw. (This would have been an actual straw or reed as paper straws were not invented until 1888).

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