Sketches of Young Ladies, Young Gentlemen and Young Couples
When the publishers of the Pickwick Papers, Chapman & Hall, brought out the anonymous ‘Sketches of Young Ladies’ in 1837, their resounding success prompted the twenty-six-year old Dickens to write, the following year, a companion piece, the ‘Sketches of Young Gentlemen’, followed two years later – to coincide with the engagement of Princess Victoria and Prince Albert – by the ‘Sketches of Young Couples’.
First published in a single volume in 1843, and including the iconic original engravings by Phiz, these satirical portraits not only reveal the dazzling brilliance of young Dickens’s genius, but also offer a humorous glimpse into Victorian mores and attitudes.
A literary phenomenon in his lifetime and renowned as much for his journalism and public speaking as for his novels, Charles Dickens (1812–70) now ranks as the most important Victorian writer and one of the most influential and popular authors in the English language. His memorable and vividly rendered characters and his combination of humour, trenchant satire and compassion have left an indelible mark on our collective imagination.