Decorative Initial After Pickwick Papers took hold, the sales of monthly installments rarely fell below 25,000, and averaged between 30,000 and 40,000. While The Old Curiosity Shop was running, the weekly circulation of Master Humphrey's Clock rose to 100,000; and Great Expectations pushed the circulation of All the Year Round well above that of the London Times. These figures, of course, do not take into account the novels in book form, whether in the original editions or in cheaper reprints. A fourth printing of Great Expectations, for example, was called for within a few weeks of its publication in covers; and more than four million copies of the novels were sold in the twelve years following the author's death. It has been estimated that during his lifetime Dickens addressed an audience of a million and a half, or approximately one out of ten readers in Great Britain. [62]


Johnson, E. D. H. Charles Dickens: An Introduction to His Novels. New York: Random House, 1969. Full text of original chapter]

Last modified 16 January 2004