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Douglas Jerrold was the quintessential Victorian. Starting life as a seaman, he, like Dickens, one of his closest friends, turned himself into a famous writer and journalist, a friend feared for his sharp pen in literary circles. A prolific writer of articles and novels, he wrote many successful plays which made his rising popular fame equal to Dickens’s celebrity as a novelist. When Jerrold died at the early age of 54, Dickens spoke the eulogy at his funeral, which was attended by a crowd that would only be surpassed by the attendance at Dickens’s funeral. Michael Slater has researched Douglas Jerrold ever since he became professor at the University of London, distilling his views in this vivid portrait of a remarkable man and dramatic life which is little known. Jerrold was in his time as important as Dickens and understanding him is a necessary step to understanding the great writer himself.

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