Sunday 4 November 2018

Sunday Snap – The Victorian Author

We were at Nostell Priory for last week's Sunday Snap of the Furniture Maker. I asked who made the cabinet and the answer is

Thomas Chippendale

Sanding down the right answer were Kara, Anne and Susan.

We off to Portsmouth this week with the birthplace of an author. Not just any author but the most famous Victorian writer of them all and one whose books and writings are still read, studied and adapted for television, radio and stage today.

The author was born in this house in the Landport district of Portsmouth on 7th February 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. This job with the Navy sent the family to London, and also to Sheerness and Chatham in Kent. With eight children and private education to pay for his father was getting further and further in debt. In 1824 his father was sent to Marshalsea debtors' prison along with the rest of the family. It is these experiences that inspired the settings and stories of his writings over the years.

The family were released from the debtors' prison after receiving an inheritance. In order to earn money he had to take on jobs in dirty warehouses working long hours in poor conditions. Much of this experience was chronicled in his book David Copperfield, which was finally published in 1849. Before that he submitted in 1833 his first story to a London periodical called Monthly Magazine. From this he started working as a political journalist with a collection of his writings published as Sketches by Boz. This was the breakthrough he required and was quickly followed by The Pickwick Papers. This, like many of his stories, was originally published in instalments.

From then his writing became prolific and stories such as Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and Old Curiosity Shop quickly followed. He travelled extensively and even went on a lecture tour of the US – quite an undertaking for Victorian times. The relentless workload and travelling took a toll on his health and by the late 1860s it was clear he was in decline. At the time of death on 8th June 1870 he was working on his final novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It was expected to have 12 instalments but only half were finished. Since then many have tried to finish the book or solve the mystery themselves of who the murderer was. This week's question is

Who was the author born in this house?

We were joined last week by Susan and autumnal trees. Sara's favourite things this week include teensy orchids, a foggy autumn evening and a maple tree in autumn. October has found Soma painting peacocks in the clouds and getting ready for Halloween. A trip to Paris for Kara saw a visit to Versailles and Disneyland. Anne has been preparing for Halloween. Finally, Jesh has found pumpkins, squashes and gourds.

If you want to join in with this week's Sunday Snap then add your link to the linky below. Any theme is allowed. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Friday 9th November 2018 to join in. Grab my badge below for your blog post. Just make sure it is your photo and you hold the copyright for it.

Sunday Snap

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  1. An easy one this week, Charles Dickens. Thanks for hosting x

  2. Hi! I watched an english musical of Oliver Twist long long ago in Tokyo. Thanks for sharing.


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