Dickens made two trips to America; the first between January and June 1842, and the second between November 1867 and April 1868. American Notes, a mix of sketches and travelogue, was the outcome of his first visit. Not gun-shy, Dickens made disparaging comments on their corrupt political system, slavery, their press, and even the habit of spitting in public. His advocacy for an international copyright agreement between Britain and the United States which would prevent the pirating of books further outraged some American readers. Despite adverse reviews, American Notes is an amusing read, especially with the dialogues concocted of people he met along the way. They are crafted in his own inimitable style.
[Illustration by Arthur A. Dixon opposite page 80 from Charles Dickens's American Notes.]