Evesham & District

Uncommercial Traveller - Dickens

This is our third Dickens book. The first, Pickwick Papers, got a mixed reaction. The second, Hard Times, went down well. The Uncommercial Traveller is a different type of book, and was not popular in our group.

It is Dickens in the style of journalism, reporting on events and places as he sees them, with his concern for social issues and his prejudices. The narrator is an imaginary traveller, who like a commercial traveller is on a continuous journey to somewhere, but rather than selling goods is observing people and places and commenting on them, sometimes favourably and sometimes satirically.

The book has 37 tales, written between 1860 and 1869. They are valuable as social history documents, less so as entertaining fiction. There is no storyline; it is more a series of social documents, which makes them heavy for consecutive reading.

The group scored this book at an average of 5.3 out of 10.

We would only recommend it to a friend if they were interested in social history.

(November 2019)