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Great Expectations Book Length Bibliography

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Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)

journalist, novelist, wrote about poverty in England

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Criticism about Charles Dickens

Characterization in Dickens
This site from Victorian web contains a number of well-written undergraduate student essays under the direction of Professor George Landow.
Contains: Criticism, Commentary
From:Victorian Web
Charles Dickens -- Literary Relations
This site from Victorian web contains a number of well-written undergraduate student essays under the direction of Professor George Landow.
Contains: Criticism, Commentary
From:Victorian Web
Charles Dickens -- Social and Political Contexts
This site from Victorian web contains a number of well-written undergraduate student essays under the direction of Professor George Landow.
Contains: This site from Victorian web contains a number of well-written undergraduate student essays under the direction of Professor George Landow.
From:Victorian Web
Charles Dickens: A Critical Study
"Dickens is an author by whom Gissing had been deeply influenced."
Contains: Criticism
Author: George Gissing
From: London: Blackie, 1898
The City of Dickens
"The worship of hearth and home that culminates in the nineteenth century, and which survives in our own lives, is not fully explicable without the pressures that the modern city has brought to bear upon it. Alexander Welsh treats The City of Dickens both as a historical reality and as a metaphor that provides a context for values and purposes expressed by the English novel."
Contains: Criticism
Author: Welsh, Alexander
From:iUniverse Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1971.
This lengthy analysis of the author's life and work includes sections on "Early life ", "Oliver Twist ", "Nicholas Nickleby ", "David Copperfield ", "A Tale of Two Cities ", and "Great Expectations ."
Contains: Extensive Bio, Criticism, Bibliography
Author: George Saintsbury
From:The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Volume XIII: English, The Victorian Age, Part One, The Nineteenth Century, II
Dickens and the Rhetoric of Laughter
Book-length critical work that explores the use of laughter in the fiction of Dickens.
Contains: Criticism
Author: James R. Kincaid
From:The Victorian Web Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971
The Immortal Dickens
Contains: Criticism
Author: George Gissing
From: 1925
19th Century Gallery
A compilation of comments by Dickens' contemporaries, as well as some by 20th century authors. Includes comments by: Alcott, Chesterton, George Eliot, Emerson, Hardy, Henry James, Longfellow, Shaw, Thackeray, Tolstoy, Twain, Queen Victoria (among others).
Contains: Criticism, Commentary, Pictures
Author: Philadelphia Branch of the Dickens Fellowship
Keywords: contemporary criticism
Themes in Charles Dickens's Writings
This site from Victorian web contains a number of well-written undergraduate student essays under the direction of Professor George Landow.
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
From:Victorian Web
Vanishing Points: Dickens, Narrative, & the Subject of Omniscience
"In traditional narrative theory, the term "omniscience" refers to a narrator's absolute knowledge and authority. Narrative theory provides no social, historical, or psychological context for omniscience, nor does it attempt to explain the predominance of omniscient narration in nineteenth-century British fiction. Audrey Jaffe uses Dickens's novels and sketches to redefine narrative omniscience as a problematic that has implications for the construction of Victorian subjectivity, giving us new insights into Dickens and into other fiction as well. Jaffe demonstrates that omniscience is the effect of a series of oppositions--between narrator and character, knowledge and its absence, sympathy and irony, privacy and publicity. Showing how these oppositions participate in and enforce Victorian ideas about family, the subject, and private life, this study illuminates connections between ideology and narrative form."
Contains: Criticism
Author: Jaffe, Audrey
From: The University of California Press: 1991

Biographical sites about Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens Gad's Hill Place
A well-designed site which presents information on Dickens' life and works, a searchable quote archive, and links to related sites, including some online texts.
Contains: Webliography, Works List, Works Available, Extensive Bio, Pictures
Author: Marsha Perry
David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page
This site contains bibliographies, timelines, some plot summaries and details of Dickens' London. It also contains information on Dickens' travels in America and his influence on the celebration of Christmas.
Contains: Timeline, Pictures, Bibliography, Webliography, Works List, Commentary
Author: David Perdue

Other sites about Charles Dickens

The Dickens' Society
Includes an index to the print publication, The DIckens Quarterly.
Contains: Bibliography
Author: The Dickens' Society

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Last Updated Mar 25, 2014

“His natural talent is quite remarkable,” Dickens wrote when Charley was 8. Only months later, the father observed of Charley that “when he is in full school employment, a strange kind of fading comes over him sometimes.” Later he would say more harshly that Charley had inherited from his mother “an indescribable lassitude of character” and that “I think he has less fixed purpose and energy than I could have supposed possible in my son.”

Charley was sent to Germany — Dickens’s sons were routinely packed off to faraway places, including India and Australia — and seemed earmarked for a mercantile career despite a burgeoning talent for journalism. (How could Dickens fail to notice writing talent, Mr. Gottlieb wonders?) And after his father’s death, Charley became embroiled in financial feuding with other family members.

But he would flourish later, write “Dickens’ Dictionary of London” (a “completely appealing” work, in Mr. Gottlieb’s expert opinion), become an editor and go on tour to deliver readings of “Personal Reminiscences From My Father.” He had a happy marriage and viable career.

“He just wasn’t his father,” Mr. Gottlieb writes, getting as close as he can to the heart of the matter. “But then no one else was either.”

The oldest daughter, Mary Angela Dickens — Mamie — was a more typical exemplar of the family troubles. Mamie was “the hardest to grasp, the most contradictory and possibly the least happy.” Her book “Charles Dickens: By His Eldest Daughter” infuriated her spirited younger sister Kate (who became a painter) and is deemed “odd” by Mr. Gottlieb for good reason. “It was still the most beautiful and lovable of all faces in the world,” she wrote of her father in his final years.

“This is not an objective biographer at work,” Mr. Gottlieb says, “but a woman in love.”

“Great Expectations” shows how few of the children had such opportunity to revere their father, or even know him well. He could best profess paternal affection from afar and preferred distance to close range. He sent away his young sons with the clear knowledge that he might never see them again.

“They may have been angered by his cavalier disposal of them and resentful of his easy domination over them,” Mr. Gottlieb writes tepidly at his book’s conclusion, “but not only were they fiercely proud of his accomplishments, they loved him.”

Mr. Gottlieb also finds nothing but “slim pickings” when he tries to link the indelible children in Dickens’s novels to the more forgotten figures who really bore the Dickens name.

Charley Dickens said it better. “The children of his brain,” Charley said of Pip, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and the rest, “were much more real to him at times than we were.”

Continue reading the main story


The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens

By Robert Gottlieb

Illustrated. 239 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $25.

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