From Mass Moments: Dickens Second American Tour

Mass Moments remind us that on this day December 2, 1867, the iconic author Charles Dickens began his Second American tour heer in Massachusetts – opening in Boston and reading at Tremont Temple. Not in the best of health, Dickens arrived a few weeks early and spent some time recuperating from his voyage at the famed Parker House Hotel. Staying in his room, he read and prepared his readings often rewriting some passages from his books. He always painstakingly prepared for his performances.

On this day

…in 1867, Charles Dickens
began his second American reading tour at Boston’s Tremont Temple. An
enthusiastic audience, which included literary stars Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
and Ralph Waldo Emerson, seemed to have forgotten Dickens’s widely known
unflattering views of the United States described in his book American
Notes.  A 55-year-old Dickens read selections from A Christmas
Carol and The Pickwick Papers. Although Dickens was in declining

health, he embarked on an ambitious travel schedule. Six months later, having
given more than 400 readings, Dickens returned to Boston once more before
concluding his U.S. tour in New York City. He died two years later, having
written 14 novels, several of which are classics of English literature.
He ended his Second American Reading Tour where it began – in Boston where he  closed by telling the audience: “In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time . . . Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell.”
In 1842 during his First American Tour, Charles Dickens visited Lowell. He wrote about his visit in “American Notes,” In one comment on the mill girls – he observed:  “They were healthy in appearance, many of them remarkably so, and had the manners and deportment of young women: not of degraded brutes of burden.”
Read more about Dickens Lowell visit as remembered in his “American Notes” here from Primary Sources.
Read more about Dickens Second American Tour here at

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