In the case of “Hunted Down,” a first-person narrative in the manner of Wilkie Collins, the motivation was decidedly pecuniary. “Its subject has been taken from the life of a notorious criminal . . ., and its principal claim to notice was the price paid for it. For a story not longer than half of one of the numbers of Chuzzlewit or Copperfield , he had received a thousand pounds” (Forster 344). For John Forster, the installment of a novel was worth more aesthetically than a short story, representative of a genre that he seems to regard as an inferior. In fact, Dickens’s biographers from Forster to Ackroyd have paid scant attention to “Hunted Down,” aside from the large sum paid for it and the possible connection between the story’s antagonist and such real-life models as the poisoners Thomas Wainewright.
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