The Mudfog Papers
The Mudfog Papers, a collection of sketches by Dickens published in Bentley’s Miscellany between 1837 and 1838, describes the local politics of the fictional town of Mudfog – such as the delusions of grandeur of its mayor Nicholas Tulrumble and his disastrous attempts at putting on a public show – and the meetings of its Society for the Advancement of Everything, during which the town is overrun by illustrious scientists and professors conducting ostensibly pointless research.
Written at the same time as Oliver Twist – indeed the serialized version of the novel referred to Mudfog as the protagonist’s home town – The Mudfog Papers lampoons all manner of journalistic and scientific writing of the time and showcases the young Dickens at his satirical best.
The power of [Dickens] is so amazing that the reader at once becomes his captive.
William Makepeace Thackeray
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.