John Black

(1783—1855) journalist and newspaper editor

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Of the Morning Chronicle 1817–43, where Dickens found his first full-time employment as a reporter from 1834 to 1836, simultaneous with his publication of the pieces that were collected in Sketches by Boz. A temperamental Scot who is said to have delivered a dozen challenges to duels before he was 30, Black was revered by Dickens as his ‘first hearty out-and-out appreciator’. John Stuart Mill credited Black, who was an intimate friend of James Mill and others of Bentham's inner circle, with being the first journalist to examine with a reformist's eye such hitherto sacred institutions as the law.

From Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).

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