Dickens (wrote Percy Fitzgerald) ‘never had a more faithful follower’ than this ‘exuberant, affectionate, romantic’ admirer: and Dickens doubted ‘if I have a more genial reader in the world’ (24 December 1856) than ‘my faithful Kent’, as he called him, in King Lear's phrase. They met through Dickens's gratitude for his review of Dombey in the Sun, which he edited, and became close friends. Kent contributed to the weeklies, organized the remarkable farewell dinner before the American public reading tour, 1867 (‘Nothing like it has ever occurred in London before’, reported the New York Tribune), and became, with Dickens's blessing, the readings' official chronicler. His Dickens as a Reader (1872) and other reminiscences of Dickens are invaluable, and he compiled collections of his Humour and Pathos (1884) and Wellerisms (1886), also editing selections from other popular authors.
From Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).