After the publication of "Nicholas Nickleby" in 1839, Dickens resigned his editorship of "Bentley's Miscellany" (in which "Oliver Twist" had appeared) to produce a weekly periodical, "Master Humphrey's Clock" (1840) consisting entirely of short stories and essays.
The early numbers adhered faithfully to this idea, and we are introduced to a kindly old gentleman, whose most cherished possession is his clock, and to a group of friends who gather round to read manuscripts, previously deposited in the clock-case.
While "Master Humphrey's Clock" is known chiefly as the original setting for two great novels, "The Old Curiosity Shop" and "Barnaby Rudge", it can be judged happily on its own merit, for the sketches and tales contain much that is characteristic of Dickens' work.
EDIT: 13 Dec 07
Improved formatting to preserve dashes, etc. Uploaded v2.
EDIT: 17 Mar 08
Created a new version to fix a problem with paragraph breaks. Uploaded v3.
EDIT: 28 Mar 10
Thoroughly proof-read against the "Oxford Illustrated Dickens" edition; a number of errors and much missing formatting has been corrected as a result. Previous versions were missing the illustrations; scanned and added all 20 of these. Uploaded v4. The book is now in a good shape; if you find any errors, please let me know so that they can be corrected.
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