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George Hogarth

(1783—1870) music critic


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Dickens's parents-in-law. George trained as a lawyer in Edinburgh. An amateur violoncellist and composer, he also gained a reputation as a music critic. In 1814 he married Georgina Thomson, daughter of George Thomson, musician, publisher, and friend of Robert Burns. Two years later his sister married James Ballantyne of Sir Walter Scott's publishing firm and Hogarth became Scott's intimate friend and legal adviser. At the age of 47 he abandoned his legal career and, in the hope of earning more money to support his increasing family, he became a full-time journalist. The family moved from Edinburgh, first to Halifax where Hogarth started the Halifax Guardian and then to London where, early in 1834, he became music critic of the Morning Chronicle and met the young Dickens. He admired Dickens's ‘Street Sketches’ and when, in the following year, he was appointed editor of the newly established Evening Chronicle he invited Dickens to contribute further sketches to that paper. During the next seven months Hogarth published twenty such pieces, and when the complete Sketches by Boz appeared he gave the volume a highly favourable review in the Morning Chronicle.

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

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).


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