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There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00:00 AM
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There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:42:59 AM

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Charles Dickens/Quotes

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.

Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

We need never be ashamed of our tears.

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature.
pedro
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 3:33:57 AM
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Daemon wrote:
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)




Does anyone know the context of this quote? It looks as if it might have been directed towards one of his rivals.
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 4:14:44 AM

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I do not think Dickens could have meant some of his contemporaries. He was in fact on amicable terms with most of them.
Bully_rus
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 6:15:04 AM
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It is because there are people of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 6:31:32 AM

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This site, unfortunately, does not differentiate between things people say, and the words they give to the characters they write about. Shame on you

If the 'quote' is by an author, chances are it is not personal, it is literary.

Tfd is giving a lot of authors a bad name by leaving people thinking they said things they never did. Their characters did, in the context of the novel. Brick wall d'oh!

Dickens didn't say this. Mr Brownlow did.

And he was very nice!

Quote:
'There are a good many books, are there not, my boy?' said Mr. Brownlow, observing the curiosity with which Oliver surveyed the shelves that reached from the floor to the ceiling.

'A great number, sir,' replied Oliver. 'I never saw so many.'

'You shall read them, if you behave well,' said the old gentleman kindly; 'and you will like that, better than looking at the outsides,—that is, some cases; because there are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.'

'I suppose they are those heavy ones, sir,' said Oliver, pointing to some large quartos, with a good deal of gilding about the binding.

'Not always those,' said the old gentleman, patting Oliver on the head, and smiling as he did so; 'there are other equally heavy ones, though of a much smaller size. How should you like to grow up a clever man, and write books, eh?'

'I think I would rather read them, sir,' replied Oliver.

'What! wouldn't you like to be a book-writer?' said the old gentleman.

Oliver considered a little while; and at last said, he should think it would be a much better thing to be a book-seller; upon which the old gentleman laughed heartily, and declared he had said a very good thing. Which Oliver felt glad to have done, though he by no means knew what it was.


Oliver Twist
or
The Parish Boy's Progress
by Charles Dickens.



pedro
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 7:23:01 AM
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Thanks for the source and the clarification!
bwozniak
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 8:15:03 AM
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...maybe we can think he (or his character) was predicting the proliferation of genre fiction! ;)
MelissaMe
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 11:05:56 AM

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And you can't judge a book by it's cover! Sometimes the prettiest of books hide the most wretched of writing. Sick
juno23
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:16:03 PM

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thar wrote:
This site, unfortunately, does not differentiate between things people say, and the words they give to the characters they write about. Shame on you

If the 'quote' is by an author, chances are it is not personal, it is literary.

Tfd is giving a lot of authors a bad name by leaving people thinking they said things they never did. Their characters did, in the context of the novel. Brick wall d'oh!

Dickens didn't say this. Mr Brownlow did.

And he was very nice!

Quote:
'There are a good many books, are there not, my boy?' said Mr. Brownlow, observing the curiosity with which Oliver surveyed the shelves that reached from the floor to the ceiling.

'A great number, sir,' replied Oliver. 'I never saw so many.'

'You shall read them, if you behave well,' said the old gentleman kindly; 'and you will like that, better than looking at the outsides,—that is, some cases; because there are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.'

'I suppose they are those heavy ones, sir,' said Oliver, pointing to some large quartos, with a good deal of gilding about the binding.

'Not always those,' said the old gentleman, patting Oliver on the head, and smiling as he did so; 'there are other equally heavy ones, though of a much smaller size. How should you like to grow up a clever man, and write books, eh?'

'I think I would rather read them, sir,' replied Oliver.

'What! wouldn't you like to be a book-writer?' said the old gentleman.

Oliver considered a little while; and at last said, he should think it would be a much better thing to be a book-seller; upon which the old gentleman laughed heartily, and declared he had said a very good thing. Which Oliver felt glad to have done, though he by no means knew what it was.


Oliver Twist
or
The Parish Boy's Progress
by Charles Dickens.



juno23
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:17:31 PM

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ay, indeed. There are people who are better to look at than to hear them talk.
gerry
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 1:30:54 PM
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Books or PoliticiansBoo hoo!
monamagda
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 4:42:03 PM

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"Whenever a novelist starts talking about books, and writing books, and reading books, it’s time to pay attention, because he’s really just talking about himself. What are the books Mr. Brownlow is referring to, here, when he says that some books might look nice, but actually suck? Is he talking about bad novels in general (there were plenty of them then, just like now)? He might be.

Another possibility is that Dickens is trying to suggest that his own book (Oliver Twist) is better than the other Newgate novels that it was being compared to. In any case, we’re reading a book right now – Dickens was in the middle of writing it. Surely Oliver Twist won’t fall into the category of the books "of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts"?

The last part of the passage, when Oliver says that he’d rather be a bookseller than an author, is a deliberate jab at Mr. Bentley, the publisher of Oliver Twist (see the "Intro" section again). Dickens wasn’t making much money off of the book, and Bentley was making money hand over fist. Eventually Dickens wised up and started his own magazines so that he’d be the one making the money, but that wasn’t not until later."

http://www.shmoop.com/oliver-twist/literature-writing-quotes.html
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