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London is the protagonist of Dickens's fiction, as it defined his popular success. Even as a mature writer Dickens continued to draw on the experience of the young newspaper reporter who had written Sketches by Boz (1836) in his spare time, capitalizing on his walks through the city to outline the different neighborhoods and their distinctive inhabitants. “What inexhaustible food for speculation, do the streets of London afford!” he comments. We “have not the slightest commiseration for the man who can take up his hat and stick, and walk from Covent Garden to St. Paul's Churchyard, and back into the bargain, without deriving some amusement—we had almost said instruction—from his perambulation.” Throughout his career as a novelist, journalist, editor, actor, and theatrical impresario, Dickens found ...

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