Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens
The young Dickens composed these sketches, his first attempts at authorship, poised between two worlds. Thea Holmes writes in her Introduction, 'On the one hand Dickens depicts in relentless detail the horrors of poverty, disease, and crime - legacy of eighteenth-century London; on the other the prosperous vulgarity of the rapidly rising middle class.' Among the many essays are 'Scotland Yard', 'Gin-Shops', 'Shabby-Genteel People', and 'The Steam Excursion'. 'It is for the glimpses they afford us of their author that these sketches have a special fascination: not only in foreshadowings of future greatness but in those touches which reveal the young Boz himself.'