On This Day In Literary History~

the discerning reader

Feb 14, 1842:
The Boz Ball celebrates Dickens

On this day, fans of Charles Dickens organize the Boz Ball, an elite party for the celebrated writer who had arrived in the United States in January for a five-month tour. (Dickens’ earliest works had been published under the pseudonym Boz.)

Only members of New York’s aristocracy were invited to the ball, with each guest’s background and pedigree thoroughly inspected. Tickets were priced at the outrageous sum of $10. The event, held at the Park Theater in New York, sold out, and event organizers later held two more sold-out balls, open to the general public.

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Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was thrown in debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. The miserable treatment of children and the institution of the debtors’…

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