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Dickens's London

Overview

Few novelists have written so intimately about a city in the way that Charles Dickens wrote about London. A nearphotographic memory made his contact with the city indelible from a very young age and it remained his constant focus. Virginia Woolf maintained that, "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens," as he produces "characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks." But the "character" he was drawn back...

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Dickens's London

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Overview

Few novelists have written so intimately about a city in the way that Charles Dickens wrote about London. A nearphotographic memory made his contact with the city indelible from a very young age and it remained his constant focus. Virginia Woolf maintained that, "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens," as he produces "characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks." But the "character" he was drawn back to throughout his novels was London itself, all aspects of the capital from the coaching inns of his early years to the taverns and watermen of the Thames; these were the constant cityscapes of his life and work. Based on five walks through central London, Peter Clark illuminates the settings of Dickens's greatest works, his life, his journalism and his fiction. He also explores "The First Suburbs" (Camden Town, Chelsea, Greenwich, Hampstead, Highgate and Limehouse) as they feature in Dickens's writing.

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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: 9781907973192
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Clark has been involved in cultural relations in the Middle East since the 1960s. He worked for the British Council for over 30 years, and has translated eight books from Arabic – of which two were published by the American University in Cairo Press. He is a founding Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and is a Contributing Editor of Banipal, the magazine for modern arabic writing.

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