Charles Dickens at 200

A rift between Dickens and Cruikshank

The Artist and The Author by George Cruikshank


Cruikshank and Dickens remained friends until the 1840s when Dickens criticized Cruikshank's retelling of classic fairy tales. Cruikshank became increasingly bitter and even claimed that he, not Dickens, was the source of the plot and many characters in Oliver Twist. He presented his arguments in The Artist and the Author. A Statement of Facts. Smith's copy was inscribed by Cruikshank "To the Editor of the Queen" on June 22, 1872.

Smith's copies of three volumes from the Fairy Library once belonged to American author and publisher A. Edward Newton, best known for Amenities of Book Collecting. At the time of his death, it was estimated that he owned 10,000 books, primarily English and American literary works, most of which were auctioned by Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York in 1941. Since book prices had dropped during the Great Depression, the low prices realized at the Newton auctions are often contrasted with the high prices seen at the sale of Jerome Kern's books in January 1929, before the stock market crash in October.

George Cruikshank’s Fairy Library
London: David Bogue, 1853-1854. Volumes 1-3

The Artist and the Author. By George Cruikshank
London: Bell and Daldy, 1872




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Fairy Library cover Edward Newton plate

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