This is a scholarly addition to the area of Dickens studies in English literature. The author, Robert Terrell Bledsoe, (emeritus, U. of Texas at El Paso) is an expert on Victorian studies with a particular interest in journalism. The book looks at articles on music in Dickens' two journals: Household Words and All The Year Round. Bledsoe believes the articles, though written by various contributors, reflect Dickens' interests and goals as an editor. He provides textual analysis of the articles, and sees Dickens' interest in music as focused on two themes: elevating society by helping people become more socially respectable in their public entertainments, and using art to make life more bearable. He notes that the later journal was more strongly interested in music, especially classical music, and ties this development to Dickens' growing personal interest in music and the musical friendships he developed after the death of his wife. The book is divided into four chapters: Household Words, All The Year Round, the influence of Dickens' musical friend H. F. Chorley on Household Words, and music and friendship. Approximately a quarter of the book's length is in the endnotes, index, and works cited. Annotation c2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Robert Terrell Bledsoe is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA. He is the author of Henry Fothergill Chorley: Victorian Journalist and has contributed articles to leading Victorian Studies journals and major reference works.