Image of the Week: “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”

This week’s image is taken from Thomas Hood’s “Hood’s Own: or, Laughter from Year to Year” (1855) and aptly depicts the shenanigans of Fagin’s gang in Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838). In a humorous vignette in Chapter 10, The Artful Dodger and Charley Bates show off their pickpocketing prowess to an amused but naive  Oliver… “When the breakfast was…

London language in 19th century novels

I pricked up my ears (figuratively speaking) at this intriguing post by Roger Pocock of the Windows into History blog, in which he discusses a list of local words from late 18th and early 19th-century London. This fascinating list was first published in 1803, in Samuel Pegge’s book Anecdotes of the English Language: Chiefly Regarding…

Ladies and Gentlemen: visualising character mentions by gender in the novels

In early 2015, Adam Calhoun created a (now quite famous) series of images that visualise the punctuation from famous novels.  These rather lovely images demonstrate clearly how differently writing can be structured, particularly in regard to features like punctuation: hiding in plain sight, punctuation renders writing intelligible, but goes practically unnoticed by the reader.  (Until…