Overview

No writer can lay claim to making a city the principal character of their novels as Charles Dickens did with London. A near photographic memory made his contact with London indelible from a young age. Though these early hardships required the filter of literature to numb the humiliation he felt about his humble origins.

From his Camden Town landlady Elizabeth Roylance finding her way into literary characterization as Mrs. Pipchin in Dombey and Son to the way in which his working...

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Dickens's London

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Overview

No writer can lay claim to making a city the principal character of their novels as Charles Dickens did with London. A near photographic memory made his contact with London indelible from a young age. Though these early hardships required the filter of literature to numb the humiliation he felt about his humble origins.

From his Camden Town landlady Elizabeth Roylance finding her way into literary characterization as Mrs. Pipchin in Dombey and Son to the way in which his working day as a young clerk at Gray's Inn informed Bleak House and the appropriation of his colleague Bob Fagin's name to his notorious villain in Oliver Twist, the people and places of Dickens's London are a constant and pervading presence through his novels. From the coaching inns to the lower reaches of the Thames, London was the inexhaustible "character" he was drawn back to again and again.

Published amid the two-hundredth anniversary celebrations of Charles Dickens' birth in 1811 and in the wake of the major "Dickens at 200" exhibition at the The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, Dickens's London is a remarkable study of how a city can inform and ignite the imagination. Five walks with maps through Dickensian London make this the perfect accompaniment for a trip to the British capitol.

Peter Clark has written books on Henry Hallam, Marmaduke Pickthall, and Wilfred Thesiger. He is a translator from Arabic and a founder trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Clark, an expert on Middle East studies and a notable translator of Arabic literature, packs years of learning and lore on Dickens into this slender book. Rather than prune much that is anecdotally a remove or two from the titular subject, the publishers have elected to diminish the font size of the text (quotes from Dickens appear in bold); many of you will need magnifiers to appreciate this rich and wondrously informative book. Begin it as an armchair traveler. Don't be irked by the lack of conventional walking-guide graphics and details or by the small maps that don't include street names. Should you end up in London with a yearning to follow Clark's guidance, simply add a good London map to your kit. VERDICT Hidden here are riches beyond what more conventional London guides to Dickens cover. It's like having your own bluff and delightfully expert British walking companion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907822476
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Series: Haus Publishing - Literary Travellers
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 113
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

PETER CLARK has divided his interests between Middle East studies and Britain in the nineteenth century. He was born in Sheffield in 1939 and has degrees from the Universities of Keele and Leicester and worked for the British Council for thirty years, mostly in the Arab world. He has led cultural tours in Syria and Turkey. He has written books on Henry Hallam, Marmaduke Pickthall and Wilfred Thesiger, edited The Lefties Guide to Britain (Politico's, 2005), co-edited The Iraqi Marshlands, A Human and Environmental Study (Politico's, London, 2002) and has translated eight books - six fiction and two history - from Arabic.. His last book published is Istanbul in the 'Cities of the Imagination' series, published by Signal Books, Oxford, 2010. He is currently writing a book on Damascus for the same publisher. An occasional broadcaster and a regular reviewer of books for Asian Affairs, he is a cultural consultant, a Founder Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and chairman of the Frome Society for Local Study.
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