Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the English Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources

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"Charles Dickens." Essays on Dickens's writing techniques, themes, biography, and the Victorian cultural and historical context. The Victorian Web, ed. George Landow.

Bleak House. A web site on the PBS production of Bleak House has brief articles on Dickens and the Victorian social and political context.

Buckley, Peter G. "The Old Curiosity Shop and the New Antique Store: A Note on the Vanishing Curio in NY City," Commonplace 4, 2 (January 2004).

Clark, Robert. "Charles Dickens." A substantial introduction to Dickens from the Literary Encyclopedia [subscription service].

Saintsbury, George. "Dickens." Older criticism of Dickens's major and minor works and a biography. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature (1907-21).

Atlantic Monthly (1857-1901). For old articles and book reviews on Charles Dickens in the Atlantic Monthly, the Cornell archives can be browsed.

Literary Criticism

Claybaugh, Amanda. "Dickensian Intemperance: Charity and Reform." Claybaugh begins, "The Pickwick Papers (1836-37) is now best known for having inaugurated the Victorian novel. ... After Pickwick, and because of its example, novels tended to take a single form: often illustrated, often serialized, invariably realist, and almost always socially engaged. But Pickwick was, I want to suggest, inaugural in another sense as well. It was the first novel to think through the relation between realism and social reform." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 37, 1/2 (Fall 2003) [first page only, jstor].

Gribble, Jennifer. "The Bible in Great Expectations." Dickens Quarterly Dec. 2008 [first page only, sub ser, highbeam].

Jaffe, Audrey. A complete, book-length critical study, Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, and the Subject of Omniscience (U of California P 1991). Says the publisher, "Audrey Jaffe uses Dickens's novels and sketches to redefine narrative omniscience as a problematic that has implications for the construction of Victorian subjectivity." California Digital Library.

Kujawska-Lis, Ewa. "Bleak House as the source of intertextuality in Somerset Maugham's 'The Round Dozen.'" Dickens Quarterly, Dec. 2006 [first page, sub ser, highbeam].

Ruth, Jennifer. "Mental capital, industrial time, and the professional in David Copperfield." In Novel: A Forum on Fiction 32, 3 (Summer 1999) [first page only, jstor].

Stuchebrukhov, Olga. "Bleak House as an allegory of a middle-class nation." Dickens Quarterly Sept. 2006 [sub ser, highbeam].

Thomas, Ronald R. "Double exposures: Arresting images in Bleak House and The House of Seven Gables" [and Nathaniel Hawthorne]. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 31, 1 (Fall 1997) [first page only, jstor].

"Dickens and Feeling," and "Dickens and Science," two collections of articles in the open access scholarly journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.

Teaching Materials

"The Industrial Revolution." Background reading on the Industrial Revolution as it relates to Oliver Twist and Hard Times. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

Oliver Twist. A guide for teaching the novel, from PBS. Includes suggestions on presenting and discussing episodes of the film version and suggestions for using film to develop critical, analytical skills.

"Teaching A Tale of Two Cities", by John L. Colle. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

"Familial Relationships in Great Expectations: The Search for Identity." A substantial article from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, by Anthony F. Franco.

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