BOZ--The Life and Times of Charles Dickens


To subscribe to BOZ, send an e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NET with
SUBSCRIBE BOZ your first name + your surname
in the body of message.

Usage Guidelines

Please save this message for future reference, especially if you are not familiar with LISTSERV. This might look like a waste of disk space now, but in 6 months you will be glad you saved this information when you realize that you cannot remember what are the lists you are subscribed to, or what is the command to leave the list to avoid filling up your mailbox while you are on vacations. In fact, you should create a new mail folder for subscription confirmation messages like this one, and for the "welcome messages" from the list owners that you will occasionally receive after subscribing to a new list.

To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send mail to BOZ@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU. This is called "sending mail to the list", because you send mail to a single address and LISTSERV makes copies for all the people who have subscribed. This address (BOZ@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU) is also called the "list address". You must never try to send any command to that address, as it would be distributed to all the people who have subscribed. All commands must be sent to the "LISTSERV address", LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU. It is very important to understand the difference between the two, but fortunately it is not complicated. The LISTSERV address is like a FAX number, and the list address is like a normal phone line. If you make your FAX call someone's regular phone number by mistake, it will be an unpleasant experience for him but you will probably be excused the first time. If you do it regularly, however, he will probably get upset and send you a nasty complaint. It is the same with mailing lists, with the difference that you are calling hundreds or thousands of people at the same time, so a lot more people get annoyed if you use the wrong number.

You may leave the list at any time by sending a "SIGNOFF BOZ" command to LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU. You can also tell LISTSERV how you want it to confirm the receipt of messages you send to the list. If you do not trust the system, send a "SET BOZ REPRO" command and LISTSERV will send you a copy of your own messages, so that you can see that the message was distributed and did not get damaged on the way. After a while you may find that this is getting annoying, especially if your mail program does not tell you that the message is from you when it informs you that new mail has arrived from BOZ. If you send a "SET BOZ ACK NOREPRO" command, LISTSERV will mail you a short acknowledgement instead, which will look different in your mailbox directory. With most mail programs you will know immediately that this is an acknowledgement you can read later. Finally, you can turn off acknowledgements completely with "SET BOZ NOACK NOREPRO".

Following instructions from the list owner, your subscription options have been set to "REPRO" rather than the usual LISTSERV defaults. For more information about subscription options, send a "QUERY BOZ" command to LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU.

Contributions sent to this list are automatically archived. You can get a list of the available archive files by sending an "INDEX BOZ" command to LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU. You can then order these files with a "GET BOZ LOGxxxx" command, or using LISTSERV's database search facilities. Send an "INFO DATABASE" command for more information on the latter.

Please note that it is presently possible for anybody to determine that you are signed up to the list through the use of the "REVIEW" command, which returns the e-mail address and name of all the subscribers. If you do not want your name to be visible, just issue a "SET BOZ CONCEAL" command.

More information on LISTSERV commands can be found in the LISTSERV reference card, which you can retrieve by sending an "INFO REFCARD" command to LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU.


Dear Friends,

I am sensible of the honour done to me by Mr Holloway and his esteemed colleagues in offering me this remarkable literary endeavour. I have long believed that the education of the young is one of the most hallowed tasks that a person may be called upon to carry out, and to have the opportunity to use such an innovative and entirely mysterious mode of communication, by which my words are whisk'd hither and yon by the modern miracle of electricity, makes the duty doubly pleasurable.

I can forsee some slight difficulties occasioned by a natural tendency in people to require explanations, (indeed, one might suggest that such a tendency is a prerequisite of learning). I refer to the fact that, having been born in Portsmouth in England in the year of our Lord 1812, my age is such as to occasion a measure of disbelief in my existence. Dearest children, seize that disbelief and hold it in suspension! Do not discard it, for in an age in which every huckster may peddle his wares by newspaper and television, a healthy sense of disbelief may be your only guard against deception on a grand scale.

But do, I beg you, suspend your disbelief in my existence, since without you, my readers, I would become nothing but that object of veneration mixt with tedium, a 'Dead Author'.

Welcome then, to Victorian Lives and Letters. Let learning commence!

Your most obedient servant

Charles Dickens

Top of Page Mitsuharu Matsuoka's Home Page