Our Book: Sketches by Boz

Our book (not a novel this time) for 2024-2025 will be Sketches by Boz, though in January we will suppliment it with the novella The Chimes, a story for the New Year holiday.


From 1833 through 1836, the sketches appeared in various periodicals, including The Monthly Magazine, The Evening Chronicle, and Bell’s Life in London. They were first collected together in a two-volume set by John Macrone in 1836, along with three new sketches and with illustrations by George Cruikshank.


Macrone re-published Sketches by Boz in a single volume later that year, adding a few items that had run in periodicals, but not in the earlier edition. Cruikshank created a few new illustrations for this volume, but the book left out much of the material collected in the first edition.

After Pickwick Papers completed its run, Dickens’s new publishers, Chapman and Hall, reissued Sketches by Boz in monthly installments similar to those of Pickwick. This series contained a total of 40 illustrations by Cruikshank, all later bound together as a single volume.


Dickens organized the sketches into four different groups: “Seven Sketches From Our Parish,” “Scenes,” “Characters,” and “Tales.”


The Penguin edition contains all of the sketches and illustrations and is recommended, but not required. Please join us for a year-long study of Dickens's early work.



Past novels:

2023-2024: Little Dorrit

2022-2023: Oliver Twist

2021-2022: Martin Chuzzlewit

2020-2021: David Copperfield

2019-2020: The Old Curiosity Shop

2018-2019: Dombey and Son

2017-2018: Barnaby Rudge

2016-2017: Great Expectations

2015-2016: Our Mutual Friend

2014-2015: Nicholas Nickleby (Part Two)

2013-2014: Nicholas Nickleby (Part One)

2012-2013: Bleak House (Part Two)

2011-2012: Bleak House (Part One)

2010-2011: A Tale of Two Cities

2009-2010: Pickwick Papers

2008-2009American Notes and Hunted Down (short story collection)

2007-2008: Hard Times and The Mystery of Edwin Drood

2006-2007: Little Dorrit

2005-2006: Oliver Twist

2004-2005: David Copperfield

2003-2004: Martin Chuzzlewit

2002-2003: Barnaby Rudge

2001-2002: The Old Curiosity Shop

2000-2001: Nicholas Nickleby (Part Two)

1999-2000: Nicholas Nickleby (Part One)

1998-1999: Dombey and Son

1997-1998: Pickwick Papers

1996-1997: Our Mutual Friend

1995-1996: Great Expectations

1994-1995: A Tale of Two Cities

1993-1994: Bleak House