(Kate Willis’s article appeared in the Independent, 7/13.)
As The Independent revealed on Monday, a bound collection of the 19th century magazine ‘All the Year Round’, annotated by its editor Charles Dickens, has yielded the names of the articles’ anonymous authors; among them Lewis Carroll, Elizabeth Gaskell and Dickens himself.
One of the most spectacular essays – an attack on a complacent establishment that could tolerate the appalling state of poor relief – had previously been attributed to one Joseph Parkinson, and presumed to be only a commission from the great man of letters. But from the newly studied margin notes, it now seems that Dickens not only supplied the idea but was chief author of the polemic. Below, we publish the piece – originally entitled ‘What Is Sensational?’ – which remains a great example of passionate reporting; still relevant, still an inspiration to anyone who sees their role as giving a voice to those who cannot be heard.
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