Approaches to Teaching Dickens's Bleak House available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Modern Language Association of America
A central text both in Dickens's career and in the history of the novel itself, Bleak House provides students and teachers occasion to discuss Victorian social concerns involving law, crime, family, education, and money and to learn about every stratum of English society, from the aristocracy to the homeless. But the sheer size of the novel and its narrative intricacy pose pedagogical obstacles. The essays in this volume offer instructors an array of practical strategies for use in the classroom: some describe courses organized exclusively around Bleak House; others offer ideas for teaching a single scene or topic in the novel.
The book opens with part 1, "Materials," which assesses editions and provides a guide to the wealth of resources available to instructors, including reference works, critical studies, and background readings, in print and on the Web. The essays in part 2, "Approaches," discuss nineteenth-century British culture and Victorian social texts; present ways to teach specific scenes, patterns, and problems in the novel; describe intertextual approaches; and detail specific courses taught in different settings and at a variety of educational levels.
About the Author
John O. Jordan is professor of literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and director of the Dickens Project. He has written widely on Dickens and Victorian literature and is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens (2001).
Gordon Bigelow teaches in the English department at Rhodes College. He is the author of Fiction, Famine, and the Rise of Economics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (2003).