The Press: Dickens' Baby

At 2 a.m. one morning in 1846, Charles Dickens hurried home through London's silent streets to wake his wife and proudly show her a still damp copy of the first Daily News. In the leading article, he had committed it to the demands of rising, powerful, 19th-Century Liberalism: for "progress and improvement of education, civil and religious liberty, and equal legislation. . . ."

As editor, 34-year-old Novelist Dickens lasted 17 days. Then he quit, told the proprietors (a radical industrialist and the publishers of the then radical weekly Punch) that he was "tired to death and quite worn out."

Last week his...

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