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Charles Dickens - What Happened Next . . .

newspaper reform trip including

After Dickens's 1842 journey the effectiveness of each of the two prison systems was hotly debated in the United States. Some emphasized inmate reform while others favored deterring crime through severe punishment. A major concern of the Separate System at Cherry Hill was the cost of solitary confinement. Each prisoner had to have his own cell and exercise yard, and food and other necessities were provided individually. At this time criminologists began investigating the psychological character of criminals. As a result, concern increased over the effects of such pronounced isolation on individuals, as expressed so vividly by Dickens.

Dickens remained active in social reform movements following his trip to America. He used some profits from his highly popular novels to publish a newspaper called the Daily News beginning in January 1846. With Dickens as editor, the newspaper promoted social issues including free public education for the poor, various forms of civil and religious liberty, low-cost housing, and equal rights legislation. The newspaper was a financial failure and lasted only until 1850.

Dickens also wrote several significant works after his trip, including A Christmas Carol (1843), David Copperfield (1850), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1860).


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