Sketches by Boz collected a rich and strange mixture of reportage, observation, fancy and fiction centred on the metropolis. It was Dickens's first book, published when he was twenty-four, and in it we find him walking the London streets, in theatres, pawnshops, lawcourts, prisons, along the Thames and on the omnibus, missing nothing, recording and transforming urban and suburban life into new terrain for literature. 'The first sprightly runnings of his genius are undoubtedly here, ' wrote Dickens's friend and biographer John Forster. Sketches is a remarkable achievement, and looks towards Dickens's giant novels in its profusion of characters, its glimpses of surreal modernity and its limitless fund of pathos and comic invention.
Charles Dickens (1812 -1870), geboren in Landport bei Portsea, begann seine schriftstellerische Karriere als Gerichtsreporter. Seine liebevollen Schilderungen menschlicher Schwächen, sein Kosmos skurriler und schrulliger englischer »Originale« und die satirische Anprangerung sozialer Mißstände machten ihn bereits zu Lebzeiten zu einem der beliebtesten Romanciers der Weltliteratur.