Past challenges

‘Anecdote’ part II

Our #SolveItDickens challenge for July 2022 is the second part of ‘Anecdote’: a shorthand dictation exercise from the notebooks of Dickens’s shorthand pupil, Arthur Stone, at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Figure 1: Detail from the second page of a shorthand exercise titled ‘Anecdote’. Image © The Free Library of Philadelphia [ref: cdc5890009]

Use our ‘Resources’ to help you decipher the text. Remember that it is unlikely that you will be able to solve the whole text, but even one new symbol can be useful. Anyone who successfully describes a new symbol with be credited as its discoverer on our Roll of Honour.

You may also find it helpful to check out the transcript for part I, which we’ll release on 18 July.

Please complete the entry form and email us ( and your solutions by 31 July 2022. We will publish the results on 15 August 2022.