Rediscovering Dickens

A chronicle of the transcription of 20 issues of Household Words by Charles Dickens.

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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

I'm working on a pet project to digitize all of the issues of Charles Dickens's weekly magazine, Household Words, that contained portions of his novel Hard Times. Since OCR software is expensive, I'm transcribing all of 20 issues by hand. Since I am actually interested in what I am typing (and am therefore reading as I go), and I not the speediest of typists, this will take me a little while. This blog will chronicle my progress and my thoughts about the project and its content along the way. Why should you care? If you are at all interested in how popular culture evolves, how the middle class came to be, and how literature is affected within and without its context, you should read on. If you couldn't care less of such things, then you might want to go elsewhere. Thanks for visiting - I hope you will return. - Lynn

Monday, August 07, 2006

I just finished transcribing an article about 19th century bards in Brittany, "Modern Ancients." The article mentions the Breton tradition of storytelling and oral history ( alive and well in 1854) as a way to pass information down from generation to generation, but also mentioned that it could be used to relay important health notices, such as how to keep cholera at bay. This was pretty interesting stuff, really.

The article mentions several people and phrases that I am not familiar with, so I thought I'd provide a bit of a vocabluary list:

Finistère - most westerly part of metropolitan France, in Brittany.
Autolycus - renowned for this wiliness and his cleverness as a thief.
Father Mathew - Irish temperance reformer.
Gaberlunzie - a beggar.

I tried to find more information on the "rebbe," a musical instrment mentioned by Dickens, but could find nothing. So unless you have information about this that is unknown in the Googleverse, you will be as in the dark as I am.


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