Author: Charles Dickens
Pages: 111 pages
Published: May 31st 2004
A delightful meditation on the pleasures of bachelor bonding and an example of collaborative journalism at its best
In autumn 1857, Charles Dickens embarked on a sightseeing trip to Cumberland with his friend, the rising star of literature Wilkie Collins. Writing together, they reported their adventures for Dickens' periodical Household Words, producing a showcase of both long-cherished and entirely novel sides of these well-loved men of letters. Boasting two ghost stories from undisputed masters of the genre, it also uniquely demonstrates their glee in caricaturing themselves and one another—Collins assumes the identity of Thomas Idle (a born-and-bred idler) and Dickens that of Francis Goodchild (laboriously idle). Through their fictional counterparts, the men relentlessly satirize Dickens' maniacal energy and Collins' idleness. The result is an exuberant diary of a journey and a rare insight into one of literature's most famed and intriguing friendships.