Review by Choice Review
Intended for the general reader and the casual student, this volume of Dickens's letters makes informative and sometimes entertaining reading. All the letters have been selected from the Nonesuch edition, available only in reference libraries and rare-book rooms, and some corrections have been made using the available volumes of the authorized and definitive Pilgrim Edition (v. 1-4: CH, Sep '65, Mar '71, Jan '75, Sep '78) as the copy text. Consequently some of Dickens's most interesting letters have not been available to the editor. The notes are helpful, though sometimes overspecialized for the general reader. The principle of emphasis in the notes is not always clear. The volume is divided into three sections: Personal Letters; Social and Political Letters; and Professional Letters. A thematic anthology, the ``Personal Letters'' is by far the longest section. The arrangement seems unbalanced, and perhaps a fully chronological arrangement throughout might have been more satisfactory, with some special indication for those letters that have a thematic or topical interest. With a selected bibliography, index of correspondents, and general index, the book will have value for readers who wish to sample some of Dickens's letters.-F. Kaplan, Queens College, CUNY
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.