Background.

Sketches by Boz

Astley’s has altered for the better – we have changed for the worse‘ is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Scenes, Chapter 11 (Astley’s).

Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.

 

Context.

The sketch describes a visit to Astley’s Circus, just south of Westminster Bridge.

Charles Dickens wrote about Astley’s at least three times in his works including a chapter in Sketches by Boz, (Scenes, Chapter 11) about the theatre, describing an evening at Astley’s in The Old Curiosity Shop (Chapter 39) and a reference to the circus in Hard Times (Hard Times. Book 3, Chapter 7.).

 

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