Charles Dickens was the most famous of many travelers of his time who journeyed to America, curious about the revolutionary new civilization that had captured the English imagination. His frank, often humorous descriptions in his 1842 account cover everything from his uncomfortable sea voyage to an ecstatic narrative of his visit to Niagara Falls. Yet Dickens is also critical of American society, its preoccupation with money, and reliance on slavery, as well as the rude, unsavory manners of Americans and their corrupt press. Above all, American Notes is a lively chronicle of what was for Dickens an illuminating encounter with the New World.
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