Once outsold Dickens - now called "the other Dickens"
October 26, 2014 9:54 AM   Subscribe

As the nights are beginning to draw in and Halloween approaches, how about something to make the flesh creep and send a shiver down the spine? Charles Dickens was a master of the macabre, whether it’s in his Christmas ghost stories such as A Christmas Carol, in the chilling Gothic emptiness of Satis House in Great Expectations or the dirty squalor of London in Oliver Twist. But there was another novelist who most people have never heard of, whose books also offered the Victorian reading public a good helping of horror. At the height of his career, he sold more copies of his work than Dickens, who is widely thought to have been the bestselling novelist of the age. This other writer’s name was George W. M. Reynolds, and he has recently been called ‘the other Dickens’. 2014 marks the bicentenary of his birth.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (7 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Reynolds is definitely an interesting person and author, with interesting politics, but having read Reynolds, calling him "the other Dickens" is...a stretch. Weekly serialization was a rather different monster than monthly, and it shows. Still, he is in print: Valancourt has the first volume of Mysteries of London (only 1100+ pages!). (Alas, it looks like Wordsworth's edition of Wagner the Wehr-Wolf has gone out of print.)
posted by thomas j wise at 11:21 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I prefer Charles Dikkens, the well-known Dutch author.
posted by SansPoint at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have several years at your disposal, here's a bibliography of what Reynolds is available where online.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:51 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks for this post, and for that compendium of links, thomas j wise. I was daunted by his bibliography on Wikipedia.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:40 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

The three works to know: Reynold's best selling work was Pickwick Abroad in which he continues the adventures of Pickwick on a trip to France in the style of Dickens. It was plagiaristic, we might call it "fan fic", but people couldn't get enough of Pickwick. His other best seller was Grace Darling. The serial Mysteries of London did well, based on the better known Mysteries of Paris by Eugene Sue.
posted by stbalbach at 12:57 PM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Brb storyboarding my new novel "Oliver Twist vs the Space Ninjas".
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

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