I could just hear my friends say as I started this short piece, followed quite soon by my own added thought, Maybe theres a reason for that. The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices was written as a collaboration between Charles Dickens and his great friend Wilkie Collins, to describe a walking tour the two had made together. During the September of 1857 they meandered through parts of the Lake District (named Cumberland at the time, and now Cumbria). What resulted is extremely whimsical, occasionally absurd, and it has to be said, very much of its time, with topical or earlier references some of us now struggle to recollect from history. Originally the lazy pair set off to walk to Cumberland with their knapsacks, but the appeal of this soon wore off, as Mr. Idle bethought himself of a train journey: what was the use of walking, when you could ride at such a pace as that. Engagingly it is told at express speed, until they finally alight at Carlisle, which looked congenially and delightfully idle. Goodchild (who had already begun to doubt whether he was idle: as his way always is when he has nothing to do) had read of a certain black old Cumberland hill or mountain, called Carrock, or Carrock Fell; Mr. Idle, naturally retained strong doubts about the enterprise, but off they both set: Up hill and down hill, and twisting to the right, and twisting to the left, and with old Skiddaw (who has vaunted himself a great deal more than his merits deserve; but that is rather the way of the Lake country), dodging the apprentices in a picturesque and pleasant manner. Before we had a car, we seemed to spend a great deal of time trekking to the base of the fell we had selected to climb, before we could even start climbing. So the story really came to life for me, when the two climbed Carrock Fell (the Lake District term for a mountain.) These two idle fellows were bound to have difficulty navigating such unfriendly terrain, even aided as they were by a guide: the landlord of the local inn, who in fact proved to be barely more competent than they were themselves. Mr. Goodchild looked eagerly at the top of the mountain, and, feeling apparently that he was now going to be very lazy indeed, shone all over wonderfully to the eye, under the influence of the contentment within and the moisture without.
In between these adventures, we are treated to two creepy ghost stories (later published separately as The Dead Hand and The Brides Chamber), as well as the true idler's personal history pertaining to his rationalization of idleness.
Whether this statement made by Collins with regard to his Carrock Fell experience be true or not, is neither here nor there because even if it were, every Englishman might still talk about The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, a short little travelogue on their 1857 trip to Cumbria, which Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens collaborated on. Collins and Dickens, in the little book known as Mr. Thomas Idle and Mr. Francis Goodchild, go on what they consider an idle tour through the north of England, but their main problem is that both of them hold rather diverging opinions on what idleness is all about. I am definitely siding with Mr. Idle here, and maybe thats why reading this book where nothing really happens gave me so much fun because I could wholeheartedly, or wholefootedly, put myself into Mr. Idles shoes when he reluctantly followed his friend and their guide up that Carrock Fell, not knowing why anyone should take the trouble to climb a mountain just to look down from its peak afterwards.
They assume the identities of Francis Goodchild (Dickens) and Thomas Idle (Collins).
This book coauthored by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins is about two people who take a trip together. Chapters one, three, and five concern the trip and two and four give us a couple of ghost stories. I remember thinking about that as I read, liking the flow of the words, but really wishing something would happen in the slow parts. One was the real deal with the family where we went to the beach and pretty much stayed put at the pool or the ocean all day every day. We went out a couple of nights during the week, and maybe took an afternoon trip out for putt-putt or the arcade once or twice, but that was all the extra traveling we needed. This lunatic's idea of a vacation was getting up by 7:00 AM (even though he was normally up earlier than that), and going to museums, attractions, buildings, battlefields, shops, and seeing whatever the city and its surrounding areas had to offer even if it meant driving an extra two or three hours to get there. I think we left around 3:00 Tuesday afternoon and got back about that time on Thursday... But that's a different tale and has even less to do with this book than the other side story I started with. I enjoyed all of our trips which included D.C. and Northern Virginia a couple of times, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Williamsburg & Jamestown, Hampton Roads, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and a couple others.
No es lo mejor de los autores pero no deja de merecer mucho la pena .Creo que los dos amigos se divirtieron al escribir y nosotros lo hacemos al leer.
In the course, it also includes two long standalone stories--both gothic ghost stories, one that appears to be primarily by Collins and one that appears to be primarily by Dickens.
Lets face it, our idle apprentices are Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Ellen Ternan has just entered Dickenss life, and thus the second and much more private world of Dickens is being launched within the pages of this novel.
It would have been a great help to me if I'd realized, prior to starting this Lazy Tour, that the story was based on a trip taken by the authors, Dickens and Collins, and that the protagonists were their alter egos. One of my two least favorite things about Dickens novels is his insertion of unrelated stories. In this 100 page travelogue, he and Collins managed to fill two of the five chapters with such stories.
And, some time later, those five installments were put together in this lovely little book. And so the natures of the two idle apprentices were wonderful reflections of their creators. I never doubted that both authors were having a wonderful time, gently caricaturing themselves and their relationship.
Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads: "To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England's most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years.