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Charles Dickens

Madeline House, Graham Storey, and Kathleen Mary Tillotson (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 3: 1842–1843

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Extract in F, iv, i, 290. Date: 12 Nov according to Forster.

Behold finally the title of the new book[;]3 don't lose it, for I have no copy. "The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewig,4 his family, friends, and enemies. Comprising all his wills and his ways. With an historical record of what he did and what he didn't. The whole forming a complete key to the house of Chuzzlewig."5

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Editor’s Note
3 This was CD's first note to him after their return from Cornwall, says Forster: "Title and even story had been undetermined while we travelled, from the lingering wish he still had to begin it among those Cornish scenes [see To Forster, Early Aug and 16 Sep]; but this intention had now been finally abandoned, and the reader lost nothing by his substitution, for the lighthouse or mine in Cornwall, of the Wiltshire-village forge" (F, iv, i, 290).
Editor’s Note
4 Though CD had had no doubts about "Martin", he had earlier jotted down on small slips several ideas for the surname—among them Chubblewig, Chuzzlebog and Sweezleback (for the full list, see F, ibid.)—Chuzzlewig and Chuzzlewit being the final choices. In the MS of the novel itself, there is no hesitation over the name; the heading on p. 1 has "Martin Chuzzlewit" from the start. (Both the slips with trial names and the trial title-pages are now at the beginning of the MS of the novel in the V & A.)
Editor’s Note
5 From 26 Nov (in the Athenæum) onwards, it was advertised almost exactly in these words, though with the alteration to "Chuzzlewit", and "showing, moreover, | who inherited the family plate, | who came in for the silver spoons, | and who for the wooden ladles" inserted before the last sentence.
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