You Can Be Dickens’s Proof-Reader

Reading & Writing

Charles Dickens wrote this in a column of his weekly magazine ‘Household Words’:
“I know that we English are an angular and eccentric people – a people that the great flat-iron of civilisation will take a long time smoothing all the puckers and wrinkles out of – but I was scarcely prepared for the following announcement that I saw the other day in a tobacconist’s window near the Elephant and Castle: On Saturday, A Cricket Match will be played at the Rosemary Branch, Peckham Rye, between Eleven One-armed Men and Eleven One-legged Men.’

So he went along and witnessed the match. The trouble is, Chuck D wrote a lot more besides, and the race to make his greatly admired and enjoyed journals available online for the bicentenary of his birth on February 12th 2012 is causing problems, because there aren’t enough proof-readers available. So the project’s academics are putting out a call to the public. You can join the team and become a part of the project by going to, where you can register to edit an edition of your choice (no Dickens knowledge necessary), or help the project at

10 comments on “You Can Be Dickens’s Proof-Reader”

  1. Brian says:

    Geez, that would have been a great match to watch. Imagine the run-up by the one legged bowlers.

  2. Anne Fernie says:

    The Victorians seemed partial to this sort of un-PC entertainment – there was a famous boxing match in Angel Meadow, Manchester in the 1860s that involved (if I recall correctly) a man with one missing arm and a man with a missing leg…….

  3. Anchoveee says:

    I see what you did there.

  4. Fred Zackel says:

    Sorry for the interruption, but I can never make the blankety=blank comment section for the Independent to work for me. Today you mention Loren Estleman. All of his work is available on Kindle.

  5. Christine Hodgson says:

    I would be interested in doing some editing of the Dickens material. I’m retired from full-time work, and am used to proof-reading and editing academic journals from working in a university marketing office. I’m a journalist, and have a PhD in 20th century London novels.

  6. John Vosper says:

    I am applying on behalf of my wife, Barbara Vosper, who, as well read person, is very interested in becoming a Dickens’ Proof-Reader. Can you tell me, please, what she must do to be registered for this task?

    With thanks
    John Vosper

  7. admin says:

    All you have to do is follow the links in the article and they’ll register you.

  8. John H Melbourne says:

    I, too, have recently retired and am interested in contributing to the Dickens Online project. I have extensive experience of data-inputting, word-processing, internet-surfing and other ccmputer-based tasks, both business and leisure.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be very difficult to access the website directly, in order to formally register my interest and availability. I have tried several times since hearing IPM on Radio 4 last Saturday.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    I will try again, but the site was not accessible yesterday. Instructions are an important part of proof reading, I always think.

  10. Clare Sproston says:

    I’ve had problems too with accessing the proof reading part of this otherwise admirable site. I’m a voracious reader, a great Dickens enthusiast, I did a proofreading course years ago and most importantly I am literate! Please sort this hitch out because there seem to be a number of us here who are keen to be involved in this project.

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