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Old 04-29-2007, 05:05 AM   #1
HarryT
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Post Dickens, Charles: The Old Curiosity Shop (Illustrated). v7. 25 Mar 2010

From Amazon:

A bestseller that gripped the nation when it was first published, "The Old Curiosity Shop" is a novel of sharp contrasts: of life and death, youth and age, desire and innocence, humour and villainy. For the character of Little Nell, the beautiful child thrown into a shadowy, terrifying world, Dickens drew on a tragedy in his own life, the death at the age of 17 of his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth. Five years later he wrote, "the desire to be buried next her is as strong upon me now ... and I know (for I don't think there ever was love like that I bear her) that it will never diminish."

The sorrows of Nell and her grandfather are offset by Dickens's creation of a dazzling contemporary world inhabited by some of his most brilliantly drawn characters--the eloquent ne-er-do-well Dick Swiveller; the hungry maid known as the "Marchioness"; the mannish lawyer Sally Brass; Quilp's brow-beaten mother-in-law, and Quilp himself, the lustful, vengeful dwarf, whose demonic energy makes a vivid counterpoint to Nell's purity.

The edition contains all the original black and white illustrations (hence the rather large size of the book).

Enjoy!

EDIT: 15 Dec 07

Recreated the book, adding the original illustrations and preserving dashes, etc. Uploaded v2.

EDIT: 24 Dec 07

Replaced words in capitals by italics as appropriate, to match the printed book. Uploaded v3.

EDIT: 20 Mar 08

Recreated the book to sort out a problem with incorrect paragraph graph. Comparing against the printed book I noticed that two illustrations were missing, so I've scanned these and added them to the book. Uploaded v4.

EDIT: 12 Mar 09

Spent the last two months painstakingly proof-reading the book against the "Oxford Illustrated Dickens" edition. Two entire double-pages of text were missing from the book, as well as literally thousands of other minor errors and omissions. I would say that the book is probably now pretty much as good as it's going to get, although I would obviously welcome being informed of any remaining errors. Added a new cover image, too, and uploaded v5.

EDIT: 11 Jun 09

MR user "dynabook" has kindly sent me details of several dozen errors (primarily in punctuation) which I'd overlooked. Corrected all these, and uploaded a new v6.

EDIT: 25 Mar 10

Replaced the cover image for consistency with the rest of my Dickens series. No change to the text. Uploaded v7.


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Last edited by HarryT; 03-25-2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:03 AM   #2
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(Singing): "Good morning! Good moorrrrning! What a hap-hap-hap-hap-HAPPY DAY."

Thank you, for making available in a beautiful edition, one of my favorite books by Dickens!

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Old 04-29-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
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My pleasure. I'll try my best to find the illustrations for it to make it even better at some point in the future.

You said before that this book was "flawed", I think. Could you expand a little on what you meant by that? I must admit that it's not one of my favourite of Dickens' book.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:42 AM   #4
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When I was doing some research on the book, back when I first read it, many scholarly critics felt that Dickens descended into sentimentality.

Additionally, the book has been criticized for not having a clear goal, one that gives the book a loss of focus.

Other critics see the book has parodying stylistic devices and themes of the day - in other words, it resembles a pot-boiler, perhaps akin to many of Wilkie Collins's work. (I also admire and enjoy Collins.)

I don't see the sentimentality as excessive; rather, I see it as carefully orchestrated. Also, for me, the book relies upon metaphor to make its point. There is this sense of mystery in the novel that things are not exactly what they seem. Granted, Dickens's characters often come across as caricatured, but much of that (I feel) was how Dickens percieved his world. He took a "type" and heightened it; that's one of the two main things many love about Dickens, the other being plot.

When I go back and re-read it a fourth time (thanks to you!), I know I'll discover more about this book.

Sidebar: This is also a novel I own in two hardback editions, and I really like the feel of these hardbacks. Right now, many of my books are packed up due to space limitations that occurred after my divorce.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 04-29-2007 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
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Thanks, Don, that's interesting. One of my reasons for this not being on of my favourite Dickens novel (but that still puts it WAY above most other authors ) is that I find "little Nell" to just be "too good". Mind you, I think it's true to say in general that Dickens' "bad" characters are often more interesting people than his heroes. Given a choice between a "night on the town" with Oliver Twist or with Fagin, I'd go with Fagin every time! I'm not saying that's universally true - not sure I'd fancy a night out with Uriah Heep .
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:30 PM   #6
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recreated the book, improving the formatting and adding the original black and white illustrations. Uploaded v2.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Replaced words in capitals by italics as appropriate, to match the printed book. Uploaded v3.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:31 AM   #8
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Recreated the book to sort out a problem with incorrect paragraph graph. Comparing against the printed book I noticed that two illustrations were missing, so I've scanned these and added them to the book. Uploaded v4.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:11 PM   #9
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A work of art in two different ways:

1) Great literature
2) Great ebook creation taken to the ultimate level


Thank you for this beautiful ebook, Harry.


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Old 07-01-2008, 09:50 AM   #10
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Thank you for this book, it looks beautiful already in my lrf viewer. Can't wait for my 505 to arrive and see it in its full glory.

Read your posts about creating ebooks, I will try it one day once I fully understand all the things involved. Anyway, no Word right now. Stuff in storage between moves and had uninstalled Office because we never used it anymore.

Many thanks again.

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Old 03-12-2009, 03:14 PM   #11
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Spent the last two months painstakingly proof-reading the book against the "Oxford Illustrated Dickens" edition. Two entire double-pages of text were missing from the book, as well as literally thousands of other minor errors and omissions. I would say that the book is probably now pretty much as good as it's going to get, although I would obviously welcome being informed of any remaining errors. Added a new cover image, too, and uploaded v5.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:42 PM   #12
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MR user "dynabook" has kindly sent me details of several dozen errors (primarily in punctuation) which I'd overlooked. Corrected all these, and uploaded a new v6.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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Replaced the cover image for consistency with the rest of my Dickens series. No change to the text. Uploaded v7.
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