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John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book II, Chapter 14 ("The Honest Tradesman")

Harper's Weekly (Saturday, 23 July 1859): 485; the text appeared previously in the UK on 30 July 1859.]

Having run from the cemetery where he witnessed his father and two fellow "disciples of Isaac Walton" (i. e., "fishermen") unearth a casket, Young Jerry "had a strong idea that the coffin he had seen was running after him, bolt upright, upon its narrow end, always on the point of overtaking him and hopping on at his side — perhaps taking his arm — it was a pursuer to shun" (Book II, Ch. 14). As Guiliano and Collins note, Young Jerry's question the next morning about his father's describing himself as a "Resurrection-Man" indicates that Dickens had carefully researched the senior Jerry's vocation, since the term, according to the OED was first recorded in 1781: "clearly this 'trade' was coming into prominence around this time, which is the period of the novel's action" (II, 689n).

Scanned image by Philip V. Allingham; text by PVA and George P. Landow.

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