When the publishers of the Pickwick Papers, Chapman & Hall, brought out the anonymous 'Sketches of Young Ladies' in 1837, their resounding success prompted the twenty-six-year old Dickens to write, the following year, a companion piece, the 'Sketches of Young Gentlemen', followed two years later - to coincide with the engagement of Princess Victoria and Prince Albert - by the 'Sketches of Young Couples'. First published in a single volume in 1843, and including the iconic original engravings by Phiz, these satirical portraits not only reveal the dazzling brilliance of young Dickens's genius, but also offer a humorous glimpse into Victorian mores and attitudes.
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