American Notes for General Circulation is a travelogue by Charles Dickens detailing his trip to North America in January to June 1842. He travelled mainly on the east coast and Great Lakes area of both the United States and Canada, primarily by steamship, but also by rail and coach. While there he acted as a critical observer of these societies almost as if returning a status report on their progress. This can be compared to the style of his Pictures from Italy written four years later where he wrote far more like a tourist. His American journey was also an inspiration for his novel Martin Chuzzlewit. Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870), also known as "Boz," was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era, as well as a vigorous social campaigner. Considered one of the English language's greatest writers, he was acclaimed for his rich storytelling and memorable characters, and achieved massive worldwide popularity in his lifetime. The popularity of his novels and short stories has meant that not one has ever gone out of print. Dickens wrote serialised novels, the usual format for fiction at the time, and each new part of his stories was eagerly anticipated by the reading public. Among his best-known works are Sketches by Boz (1836), The Pickwick Papers (1837), Oliver Twist (1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1839), Barnaby Rudge (1841), A Christmas Carol (1843), Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), David Copperfield (1850), Bleak House (1853), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1861) and Our Mutual Friend (1865).