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Charles Dickens and the Mystery of Staplehurst

Charles Dickens and the Mystery of Staplehurst (Paperback)

By Lewis, Peter

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  • Pub Date
    15 Jan 30

* A major new look at Charles Dickens and the effects of the Staplehurst rail crash on his life and literature Most biographers of Charles Dickens recognise that the rail crash at Staplehurst, Kent, on 9 June 1865 influenced the final five years of his life for the worse. He cert...ainly felt nervous about any form of transport after the accident, especially by train, and expressed his feelings in both private letters to friends and public letters to the newspapers. It also seems to have reduced the volume of his literary output, although some of his best short stories and an intriguing murder novel (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) followed the events of June 1865. Sadly, the novel remained unfinished. The Christmas supplement of All the Year Round for 1866 (known as Mugby Junction) is a collection of short stories about the railways, and includes The Signalman, a well-known short story about the premonition of accidents and disasters. No doubt the story reflected Dickens's own experience of the Staplehurst tragedy. The accident at Staplehurst was caused by railwaymen working on a low bridge who misread the timetable for the tidal trainA from Folkstone. They were replacing the wooden beams within cats iron girders which formed the structure, and thought that they had time to mend the final part before any trains arrived. But the train arrived earlier than expected and ran onto the bridge, crushing and breaking the girders. Dickens was travelling with his mistress, Ellen Ternan and her mother in a first class carriage at the front of the train and was very lucky to escape serious injury, judging by the severe damage to the compartment in which they were travelling. He clambered out and gave assistance to many of the injured and dying passengers, as famously recorded at the time. But for ever after and until his death exactly 5 years after the accident, he had a morbid fear of travelling by train, suffering it seems, from a form of post-traumatic stress.
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ISBN 9781848687936
Released NZ 15 Jan 2030
Publisher Amberley Publishing
Format Paperback
Available for pre-order, ships once released

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781848687936
Stock Release date is 15 January 2030
Status Available for pre-order, ships once released
Publisher Amberley Publishing
Imprint Amberley Publishing
Released 15 Jan 2030
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Lewis, Peter
Category Biography & Autobiography: Literary
Number of Pages 192
Dimensions Width: 172mm
Height: 248mm
Dewey Code 823.8
Weight Not specified - defaults to 600g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text Biography: Literary
ONIX Text General/trade