By Donald Hawes
Charles Dickens is surely a literary massive. the main greatly learn writer of his personal iteration, his works stay tremendously well known and critical this day. usually obvious because the integral Victorian novelist, his texts show maybe larger than any others the force for wealth and growth and the social contrasts that characterized the Victorian period. His works are broadly studied through the international either as literary masterpieces and as vintage examples of the 19th century novel. Combining a biographical procedure with shut interpreting of the novels, Donald Hawes deals an illuminating portrait of Dickens as a author and perception into his lifestyles and instances. This ebook will offer a brief, energetic yet subtle advent to Dickens's paintings and the private and social context within which it was once written.
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In Pickwick a bad smell was a bad smell; in Our Mutual Friend it is a problem' (House, 1960, pp. 134-5). But the London that Dickens portrays remains predominantly the London of his younger days that had made an exciting and indelible impression upon him. The variety of London life, with its violent contrasts between wealth and poverty, filled Dickens with ambivalent feelings of excitement, repulsion and pity. Nowhere is this complex emotional response more vitally shown than in a bravura passage of prose in Nicholas Nickleby: They [Nicholas Nickleby and Smike] rattled on through the noisy, bustling, crowded streets of London, now displaying long double rows of brightly-burning lamps, dotted here and there with the chemists' glaring lights, and illuminated besides with the brilliant flood that streamed from the windows of the shops, where sparkling jewellery, silks and velvets of the richest colours, the most inviting delicacies, and 30 Charles Dickens most sumptuous articles of luxurious ornament, succeeded each other in rich and glittering profusion.
Smoke from innumerable chimneys and from the newly constructed railways (as described in Dombey and Son) blackened buildings, faces, hands and clothes. Fog (or more precisely, smog, to use the twentiethcentury word) was a persistent hazard as was the polluted Thames, which stank so badly that Parliament sometimes had to sit with the windows closed. The state of the river became particularly offensive in the summer of 1858. ' One of Dickenss youthful works was called The Mudfog Papers (1837-38), with grimly comic appropriateness.
London appears somewhere in all his novels, except Hard Times, which is set in Coketown (modelled on Preston) in the industrial north of England. E. Beresford Chancellor, in his The London of Charles Dickens, says in his Introduction that 'so strong was Dickens's interest in London, so invariably telling his merest references to its streets and hostels, its public buildings and its monuments, that every one of his works [except American Notes and Pictures from Italy] possesses the London air — is somehow pervaded by the metropolitan atmosphere' (Chancellor, 1924, p.