This collection of stories, adapted for middle school age children, are taken from ten of Dickens most famous books. Each provides a character sketch of a well-known young character, and is intended to interest young people in further enjoyment of Dickens. Some of Dickens boy heroes include Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, Tommy Traddles, David Copperfield, Paul Dombey, and Pip.
In this small volume there are presented as complete stories the boy-lives portrayed in the works of Charles Dickens. The boys are followed only to the threshold of manhood, and in all cases the original text of the story has been kept, except where of necessity a phrase or paragraph has been inserted to connect passages;—while the net-work of characters with which the boys are surrounded in the books from which they are taken, has been eliminated, except where such characters seem necessary to the development of the story in hand.
Charles Dickens was a loyal champion of all boys, and underlying his pen pictures of them was an earnest desire to remedy evils which he had found existing in London and its suburbs. Poor Jo, who was always being "moved on," David Copperfield, whose early life was a picture of Dickens' own childhood, workhouse-reared Oliver, and the miserable wretches at Dotheboy Hall were no mere creations of an author's vivid imagination. They were descriptions of living boys, the victims of tyranny and oppression which Dickens felt he must in some way alleviate. And so he wrote his novels with the histories in them which affected the London public far more deeply, of course, than they affect us, and awakened a storm of indignation and protest.
Schools, work-houses, and other public institutions were subjected to a rigorous examination, and in consequence several were closed, while all were greatly improved. Thus, in his sketches of boy-life, Dickens accomplished his object.
My aim is to bring these sketches, with all their beauty and pathos, to the notice of the young people of to-day. If through this volume any boy or girl should be aroused to a keener interest in the great writer, and should learn to love him and his work, my labour will be richly repaid.
|KATE DICKINSON SWEETSER|