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Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

The Curious World of Dickens

Charles Dickens is among the greatest English novelists, and the power of his prose can be found in his portrayals of the harsh social realities of his time, from the depiction of poverty-stricken orphan Oliver Twist to the squalor of the slums and skewering of the justice system in Bleak House.

Published to celebrate the twohundredth anniversary of Dickens’s birth, this book brings together quotations from Dickens’s novels and letters with photographs of their original covers and Victorian-era images—among them, prints, posters, and newspaper pieces—that shed light on the topics about which Dickens writes. Ordered by theme, the book covers such topics as schools in Victorian England, domestic entertainment, the introduction of the railroad, and the poor conditions in prisons and workhouses, which loom large in Dickens’s novels—and, indeed, his own childhood. Dickens was also an avid theater enthusiast who arranged productions and public readings of many of his works, and this book explores his role throughout his later years in adroitly adapting his novels for the stage.

The Curious World of Dickens
breathes new life on this momentous occasion into the vibrant world inhabited by Dickens and his characters.

108 pages | 95 color plates | 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 | © 2012

History: European History

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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“Dickens had an uncanny way of writing everyday life into his novels, and Hurst and Moller’s beautifully illustrated book . . . shows how integral Dickens’s everyday world was to the creation of his texts. . . . An interesting and tactile look at the intersections between Dickens’s literary world and the everyday world in which he lived.”

Victorian Periodicals Review

Table of Contents


1. Dickens and Education
2. London
3. The Diversions of London
4. Domestic Entertainment
5. Performing Dickens
6. Crime and Punishment
7. Prisons and Workhouses
8. The Coming of the Railways
9. Food
10. Publishing Dickens
11. The Christmas Books

Sources and Further Reading

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