Reading Challenges

December 22, 2011

Dickens' "Household Words"

During the past year I've read a good deal of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens (The Woman in White, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House, etc.) and while doing so, I've often wondered about the magazine Dickens published, Household Words. Many of the author's great novels, as well as those written by his peers (Collins for one!) were first published in serial format within the weekly magazine's pages. I began to look online for modern-day copies of the publication, convinced that issues must exist today in some sort of anthology format. I didn't turn up much via mega booksellers like Amazon, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that readers can (legally) access copies of Household Words electronically and free of charge via the website Not only is it possible to consult issues of Household Words in PDF format, e-reader files are also available. With the click of a button, my Kindle is stocked with the publishing universe of Dickens' own creation, and I'm excited to explore this new terrain. The first issue of Household Words was released on December 21, 1850, just in time for Christmas. Download it in a variety of formats (left hand column) HERE and see what others were reading in December, 161 years ago.


  1. Wow - good dectectiv-ing, and I hope you'll review a couple of editions, especially if they still make for good reading in 2011 (or 12!).

  2. Thanks Rose! So far, so good. The literary supplements are nice and the news items/opinion pieces are interesting, giving us an idea of what was on people's (or at least on Dicken's) mind at the time. I hope I'll have time to be a bit more thorough in the new year!


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