Dickens's Secular Gospel: Work, Gender, and Personality

Dickens's Secular Gospel: Work, Gender, and Personality

by Chris Louttit
     
 

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The first full-length study on the subject of Dickens and work, this book reshapes our understanding of Dickens by challenging a critical oversimplification: that Dickens's attitude towards work reflects conventional expressions of Victorian earnestness of the sort attributed also to Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, and even more simplistically, Samuel Smiles.

Overview

The first full-length study on the subject of Dickens and work, this book reshapes our understanding of Dickens by challenging a critical oversimplification: that Dickens's attitude towards work reflects conventional expressions of Victorian earnestness of the sort attributed also to Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, and even more simplistically, Samuel Smiles. Instead, by analyzing a wide range of Dickens’s fiction and journalism in the light of new biographical and historical research, Louttit shows that Dickens is not interested in work as an abstract, positive value, or even in cataloguing it in concrete detail. What he explores instead is the human dimension of work: how, in other words, work affects the lives of those engaged in it. His writing about work is, as a result, best viewed not merely as a quasi-religious Gospel of Work, nor as an objective sociological report, but rather as what Louttit terms a "secular gospel."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Carefully researched, well written and free of jargon, Dicken's Secular Gospel presents us with convincing readings of Dickens's exploration of 'the human dimensions of work.'"
—Dickens Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4, December 2010

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415991360
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
04/22/2009
Series:
Studies in Major Literary Authors Series
Pages:
182
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Chris Louttit is an Assistant Professor of British Literature at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

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