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Speeches: Literary and Social collects Dickens's speeches from the early 1840s onward. In these speeches we see him discussing his own work, and various other topics, with humility and grace. These speeches offer the reader insight into Dickens the man, the public figure, the ordinary citizen. They also provide important information about his audience. Those present at these speeches were also the consumers of his fiction, and here we see him addressing them directly and personally.