Dickens and the City

1st Edition

Jeremy Tambling

Routledge
Published May 22, 2017
Reference - 586 Pages
ISBN 9781138116894 - CAT# Y337411
Series: A Library of Essays on Charles Dickens

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Summary

Dickens's relationship to cities is part of his modernity and his enduring fascination. How he thought about, grasped and conceptualised the rapidly expanding and anonymous urban scene are all fascinating aspects of a critical debate which, starting virtually from Dickens's own time, has become more and more active and questioning of the significance of that new thing, the unknown and unknowable, city. Although Dickens was influenced by several European and American cities, the most significant city for Dickens was London, the city he knew as a boy in the 1820s and which developed in his lifetime to become the finance and imperial capital of the nineteenth-century. His sense of London as monumental and fashionable, modern and anachronistic, has generated a large number of writings and critical approaches: Marxist, sociological, psychoanalytic and deconstructive. Dickens looks at the city from several aspects: as a place bringing together poverty and riches; as the place of the new and of chance and coincidence, and of secret lives exposed by the special figure of the detective. Another crucial area of study is the relationship of the city to women, and women's place in the city, as well as the way Dickens's London matches up with other visual representations. This anthology of criticism surveys the field and is a major contribution to the study of cities, city culture, modernity and Dickens. It brings together key previously published articles and essays and features a comprehensive bibliography of work which scholars can continue to explore.

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