In terms of both the style and the argument of this study, the very first sentence of Ledger’s introduction is significant: “On an autumn day in 1842, William Hone lay dying.” (p. 1) As Ledger tells us, it was Hone’s deathbed wish that he might shake Charles Dickens’s hand before he died. George Cruikshank, a friend of Hone and Dickens, conveyed Hone’s request to Dickens, and the inimitable both shook Hone’s hand and later attended his funeral. The significance of the event for Ledger’s argument is immediately evident: Hone was a radical bookseller and pamphleteer, and, as Ledger repeatedly proves, Dickens learned much from Hone and the culture of radical writing he was part of. Ledger knows her subject matter very well indeed, and she implicitly presupposes that instead of foisting an extended theoretical discussion on her readers, the proof of the philological pudding is on the one hand in her thorough immersion in the print culture of the nineteenth century, on the other hand in the careful close readings she amply demonstrates. Dickens’s indebtedness to radical texts from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has – and this appears curious after the reading of Ledger’s book – never before been discussed in detail, and it is hard to think of a scholar better equipped for the task than Ledger who, as a member of Birkbeck and a student of Michael Slater, is located in one of the first centres of Dickens scholarship.