Household Words

Household Words

"Household Words" was an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens which took its name from the line from Shakespeare "Familiar in his mouth as household words" — "Henry V". It was published between 1850 and 1859. In 1859, owing to a dispute between Dickens and the publishers it was replaced by "All the Year Round" in which he had greater control.

The journal contained a mixture of fiction and nonfiction. A large amount of the non-fiction dealt with the social issues of the time.

A number of prominent novels were serialized in "Household Words" including,

* "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens
* "Cranford", "North and South" and "My Lady Ludlow" by Elizabeth Gaskell
* "The Song of the Western Men" by Robert Stephen Hawker
* "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell

Other contributors to Household Words included Adelaide Anne Procter (under the name "Mary Berwick") and James Payn.

A complete key to who wrote what and for how much in "Household Words" was compiled in 1973 by Anne Lohrli, using an analysis of the office account book maintained by Dickens' subeditor, W. H. Wills.


*Lohrli, Anne. "Household Words: A Weekly Journal 1850-1859". Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973.

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