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A Paper-Mill

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Authors Charles Dickens
Mark Lemon
Genres Prose: Leading Article i
Prose: Report i
Subjects Great Britain—Description and Travel
Great Britain—History
Manufacturing processes; Manufacturing; Factories; Factory Management; Industrial Waste
Work; Work and Family; Occupations; Professions; Wages
Other Details
Printed : 31/8/1850
Journal : Household Words
Volume : Volume I
Magazine : No. 23
Office Book Notes
Views : 2507

Dickens probably wrote most of the following portions of 'A Paper-Mill': from the opening to 'I am rags' (p. 530); from 'Of my being made' (p. 531) to the conclusion.
Dickens seems also to have added touches to passages by Lemon. For example, he may have interpolated the 'tooth of time' sentence (probably echoed from Shakespeare), the Boiling Room figure of speech, and the Macbeth allusion (p. 530). In addition, he probably intensified some of the political asides; and he certainly dictated the strategy of the essay.
'A Paper-Mill' is a good example of a 'process' article (the term is Dickens'). Dickens felt that such pieces, while remaining faithful to ordinary reality - while recording, for example, the procedures followed in such mundane industrial processes as manufacturing paper, refining gold, or making glass - should at the same time transform those processes (and by extension the entire workaday world) into something rich and fanciful, a transformation that could help people survive in an iron age.

Harry Stone; © Bloomington and Indiana University Press, 1968. DJO gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce this material.

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