Date of Award

12-17-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Leonard Teel

Second Advisor

Jack Boozer

Third Advisor

Marian Meyers

Abstract

Charles Dickens embarked on a profitable journey to the United States in 1867, when he was the most famous writer in the world. He gave seventy-six public readings, in eighteen cities. Dickens and his manager, George Dolby, devised the tour to cash in on his popularity, and Dickens earned the equivalent of more than three million dollars. They created a persona of Dickens beyond the literary luminary he already was, with the help of the impresario, P.T. Barnum. Dickens became the first British celebrity to profit from paid readings in the United States. This research thesis asks how Dickens earned a fortune from his performance tour.

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