Charles Dickens

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This clear-sighted biography and literary study examines Dickens the novelist in all his glory. It begins with the life: its often tragic as well as comic dimensions. Brian Murray analyzes the important influence of Dickens's early professional experiences as a journalist. (It was as a reporter that Dickens encountered, and first wrote about, the great human problems of modern urban life that were to inform so much of his later work.) Also discussed is Dickens's fascination with the theater. Like any experienced ...
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Overview

This clear-sighted biography and literary study examines Dickens the novelist in all his glory. It begins with the life: its often tragic as well as comic dimensions. Brian Murray analyzes the important influence of Dickens's early professional experiences as a journalist. (It was as a reporter that Dickens encountered, and first wrote about, the great human problems of modern urban life that were to inform so much of his later work.) Also discussed is Dickens's fascination with the theater. Like any experienced playwright, he was always acutely aware of his audience. And the later reading tours, which became an obsession, were almost certainly an aspect of the same impulse. Successive chapters discuss the great novels, from Pickwick to Edwin Drood. They are looked at in their social context and from the standpoint of character, narrative, and structure. Readings of novels such as Dombey and Son and Bleak House are of especial interest for their close analysis of sometimes neglected works. At times, Dickens seems dated. But the large audience that exists for his work today, as it appears in various media, is proof of his teeming inventiveness and the universality of his themes. Humorist, satirist, muckraker, sentimentalist, tragedian, chronicler of humanity, Dickens continues to delight and to teach - to enlighten all of humanity.
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Editorial Reviews

Alice Joyce
The latest volume in the Literature and Life series, which features British writers, is an insightful discourse on Dickens. Although ample studies exist and continue to be written on both the novels and the man, Murray satisfactorily achieves an accessible overview of the writer's life and work, of "what Dickens loved--and what he loathed." Combining critical commentary with astute observations on the well-documented paradoxes existing within Dickens' personality, Murray's biography proves very readable as a reliable introduction to the dominant themes of Dickens' much celebrated fiction, and a stimulating inquiry into the foremost concerns fueling Dickens' creative genius.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826405654
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Series: Literature and Life Ser.
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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