To enhance the reading experience, this page will feature web-exclusive odds and ends about The Last Dickens, including trivia and "extra" chapters.

READER'S GUIDE

From the U.S. paperback, includes an "interview" by James R. Osgood of Matthew Pearl. Download as a pdf.

TRIVIA

... Some early titles considered for the novel included A Twist of Dickens, Dickens Unbound, Dickensiana, Charles Dickens is Dead, Dickens Departed and The Lost Dickens.

... The novel is conceived as the completion of a thematic trilogy with The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow. Several of the characters in The Last Dickens, including James Osgood and J. T. Fields, also appear in The Dante Club.

... In its original concept, Nicholas Rey (from The Dante Club) was to appear instead of the new character of Tom Branagan as the concerned protector of Charles Dickens in America.

... In an early draft of the novel, Osgood's brother, Neddy, met Osgood and Rebecca in London and assisted in their search.

... Rebecca Sand was originally named Rachel, then Sarah. Rogers's original name was Underhill, and Branagan was originally Salisbury.

... One character from The Poe Shadow appears in The Last Dickens under a different name.

... The UK version of The Last Dickens ends with an extra line not in the US edition.

... Dickens's eldest son, Charley, originally appeared as a character in the novel. Historically, Charley caused tension within the family by secretly bidding for and buying Gadshill Place.

... Secretive agents of the publishing houses really did attempt to pilfer manuscripts in the nineteenth century around the harbors as do the band of “Bookaneers” in The Last Dickens.

... In an early draft, the first elevator in Boston, featured toward the end of the novel, was also shown in an earlier chapter, following Osgood to his bank. In this deleted scene, it was shown how at this point in the nineteenth century the elevator operator would announce "gentlemen" or "ladies" and men and women would take turns filling the elevator car. The exception was married women, who could ride along with their husbands and the other men. Read the deleted scene.

... Dickens's stalker was originally an older man. The stalker's obsession with a manuscript of a “new” Book of Job is based on an actual fan Dickens's encountered in St. Louis.

HISTORICAL EPILOGUE

Where do the characters of The Last Dickens end up? Check out our historical epilogue beyond the Historical Note included in the novel. (Recommended to be read after the novel, so as not to spoil some of its story elements.)

"EXTRA" CHAPTERS

Click below to read "The Little Admiral," a series of extra chapters for The Last Dickens, featuring Sub-Lieutenant Sydney Dickens (pictured below) and tax agent Simon Pennock in stories interlocking with the published novel. (Recommended to be read after the novel, so as not to spoil some of its story elements.)

"The Little Admiral" (6 chapters)

  • Chapter 1: text

  • Chapter 2: text

  • Chapter 3: text

  • Chapter 4: text

  • Chapter 5: text

  • Chapter 6: text

    A pdf file of the full series.

     

    All original materials © Matthew Pearl.
    Website designed by Chris Costello

     











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