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Hard tomes — 2 Comments

  1. I suspect there’s a few reasons why the vocab in Dickens is pitched where it is. 1, the serialized nature with it’s requirement to fill 2/3/4 chapters a month allows words to pass an edit that wouldn’t in a longer ‘complete’ novel. Read 12 or so of your blog posts here and you’ll see what I mean.
    2, education was wider than one might think. And that education was highly focused on upper end delivery even before the 1880 ed act. If ever you see a contract from that era you see script that would’ve put Elizabeth 1st to shame with it’s flourishes. But with it came comments like ‘Native Intelligence’ that when you parse meant kennen not wissen from those whom had been the educated class in past eras.

  2. It hadn’t occurred to me that Dickens wrote before the 1870 Education Act, so literacy would have been mostly limited to the more affluent

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