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Charles Dickens' Sketches

Il grande romanziere inglese del XIX secolo è conosciuto per le dettagliate descrizioni di luoghi e personaggi della Londra vittoriana. In questo video ti parliamo di una serie di scenette scritte da Dickens che rappresentano situazioni quotidiane e gente comune del suo tempo, che furono poi raccolte in un libro e accompagnate da illustrazioni.

Victorian author Charles Dickens set most of his novels in London and his vivid descriptions of people and places have shaped the image we still have of London life in the 1800s. Dickens wrote about people of all social classes but focused especially, and shockingly, on life in the slums.

Dickens would spend hours walking the streets of London, watching and listening to ordinary people’s lives and collecting details that he then put in his writing. In fact, before writing the narratives that he is now famous for, he wrote a series of short descriptive sketches.

These sketches were each a few pages long and instead of telling a story, described an ordinary person, place or situation. Dickens wrote 56 sketches that were published in magazines between 1833 and 1836. Years later, they were collected into a single book called Sketches by "Boz," Illustrative of Every-day Life and Every-day People. Dickens chose “Boz” as a pen name for himself.

Dickens’ skill in descriptive writing was complemented by the drawings that illustrated his work. During his writing career, Dickens worked with more than 15 different illustrators. Their illustrations have certainly influenced the way we imagine the characters and locations that Dickens depicts.

Film makers adapting Dickens’ work for the screen today still use the detailed illustrations to help them choose locations and design costumes and sets.

In Speak Up this month we look deeper at the ever popular works of Charles Dickens. We take a tour of Dickensian London and meet three ghosts who have changed the way we celebrate Christmas. To find out more, don’t miss the December Speak Up!