19th May 2016 at 1:41 pm #1008Peter ScottGuest
The 1897 edition of “My first Book” is available on line, electronically.
The Introduction to this Book, by JKJ, reveals an intruiging aspect to the Dickens meeting described in Paul Kelver. It tells the story of a remarkably similar meeting between a Boy and a Man on a bench in the Park. However this “version” is written in the first person from JKJ’s perspective; with him as the older person and not the Boy. Much of it is identical but no allusion is made to Dickens and one wonders, as it is a book about authors, why that would be so. If JKJ were so enthralled to have met Dickens [or who he considered to be Dickens], why would he not mention it in1894.
It would be possible to make a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of both pieces to compare them but that would be too lengthy for this Forum format, however one or two points are worth mentioning.
“My First Book” is clearly a reminiscence of his childhood. It is an evocative creation of someone having a conversation with their younger self and where Dickens has no relevance. Both pieces contain the main themes of JKJ’s mother and his ambitions but this is about himself as he refers to the “new humour” and the fact that the Boy had never heard of him.
In spite of the similarities of the story it is far from being just a reversal of roles of the characters. In the original there is a deal of insight into JKJ’s thoughts which of course could not be transposed on to Dickens in the later version.
The emphasis of the ending is different; in the first it is about JKJ not explaining why he likes to sit “of an evening” in the Park. In Paul Kelver it’s about “Dickens” not telling the young JKJ his name.
In her book, “Below the Fairy City”, Carolyn Oulton identifies an article in Youth’s Companion, 4th January 1912, “Charles Dickens, The Fellowship of Love”, by JKJ. [not in Idle Thoughts?] This appears, [not having it available to read] even more years later, to be a further reminiscence of their meeting.
Carolyn also puts a possible date for the meeting as the summer or autumn of 1869 but Dickens was seriously incapacitated for a year or more before his death in June 1870. In a more sceptical age we might ask how would Dickens be sitting in Victoria Park in the evening miles from his home?
I recommend reading it and look forward to other’s views…………
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- Alliance of Literary Societies
- Anthologies containing works by Jerome
- Audio recordings
- Books with contributions by Jerome
- Forgot Password
- Jerome k Jerome was here
- Jerome The Man
- Map of the River Thames – 1884
- Newspaper and periodical contributions by Jerome – correspondence
- Newspaper contributions by Jerome
- Parson Clapp of Appledore
- Periodical contributions by Jerome
- Periodicals edited by Jerome
- Playwriting – A Handbook for Would-Be Dramatic Authors
- Samson Fox
- The Wit and Wisdom of Jerome
- Three Men – The Facts
- Unpublished plays by Jerome
- 01. On the Stage – and Off: the Brief Career of a Would-be Actor
- 02. Barbara. A Play in One Act
- 03. The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow
- 04. When Greek Meets Greek
- 05. Sunset
- Jerome In Pictures
- Photo gallery
- 06. Fennel. A New Romantic Play
- 07. Playwriting: a Handbook for Would-be Dramatic Authors
- 08. Stage-land
- 09. Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog)
- 10. Told After Supper
- Jerome In Words
- 11. Diary of a Pilgrimage
- 12. Weeds. A Story in Seven Chapters.
- 13. Novel Notes
- 14. John Ingerfield, and Other Stories
- 15. My First Book
- 16. The Prude’s Progress
- 17. Biarritz
- 18. Sketches in Lavender Blue and Green
- 19. The Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow
- 20. Three Men on the Bummel
- 21. Three Men on Wheels
- 22. The Observations of Henry
- 23. Miss Hobbs
- 24. Paul Kelver
- 25. Tea-Table Talk
- 26. Woodbarrow Farm
- 27. Tommy and Co.
- 28. American Wives and Others
- 29. Idle Ideas in 1905
- 30. The Passing of the Third Floor Back and Other Stories
- The JKJ Society
- 31. The Passing of the Third Floor Back
- 32. The Angel and the Author – and Others
- 33. Fanny and the Servant Problem
- 34. They and I
- 35. The Passing of the Third Floor Back. An Idle Fancy in a Prologue, a Play and an Epilogue
- 36. The Master of Mrs. Chilvers
- 37. Robina in Search of a Husband
- 38. Malvina of Brittany
- 39. The Street of the Blank Wall and Other Stories
- 40. All Roads Lead to Calvary
- 41. Anthony John, a Biography
- 42. The Celebrity. A Play in three Acts
- 43. My Life and Times
- 44. The Soul of Nicholas Snyders
- 45. A Comment on Bicycles and Cycling Posters in the Nineties