This book marks a new departure in the study of Dickens. The authors make use of first-hand evidence of Dickens’ actual methods and conditions of work; much of this evidence is examined and co-ordinated here for the first time. It includes Dickens’ detailed manuscript notes for novels, with a complete transcript of these for every instalment and chapter of David Copperfield. Seven other books are chosen, so that the different stages of his career and different kinds of work are well represented. The volume illustrates what modes of planning Dickens evolved as best suited to his genius and to the demands of serial publication, monthly or weekly; how he responded to the events of the day; and how he yet managed to combine the freshness of this "periodical", almost journalistic approach with the art of the novel.