Introduction to Dickens (Exploring English Literature Book 1)

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Other essays still pinpoint false perspectives and relevant blind spots in his work. Dickens himself played with clever optical effects to intrigue and occasionally mislead his readers. He also resorted to mental pictures that offered stimulating possibilities of approaching and considering his work. For reasons of clarity three divisions have been adopted — Sight, Insight and Sightlessness in Dickens, Reframing Dickens, Widening Prospects — but these groupings should not, hopefully, prevent readers from discerning both the manifold perspectives and close interrelatedness of the contributions.

Indeed, the alternative re-imagining of the city which the remote cityscape or urban skyline make possible, testifies to a heightened awareness of the self — a self profoundly troubled by ambivalent discoveries about the surrounding reality but also aggrandized by the sense of confusion and chaos that results from such recognition. As Edmondson convincingly argues, the remotely perceived urban reality both grants the subject the illusion of control and freedom and exposes him to a nightmarish and confusing shock.

Thus, in Barnaby Rudge , Dickens places Gabriel Varden, who is returning to London after a visit to the Maypole, in an interesting state of in-betweenness: torn between the holistic experience of distant contemplation and the fragmented experience provided by direct engagement with the living reality of the city, the character strives to learn from the clash and adapt to this new awareness of the conflictual and the fugitive.

Engagement with the city first from a distance, then at close quarters — or the other way round — induces a bewildering sense of belonging and not-belonging which Dickens transforms into an original index of personality. Edmondson takes the example of a journey which is the opposite of that of Gabriel Varden and well shows how, in The Old Curiosity Shop , Nell and her Grandfather successfully end up imposing their alternative reality of the remote cityscape by gradually distancing themselves from the city. Looking at the world is a reflexive act, which involves being looked at in return; it shows the difficulty of ever reaching what there is to be seen, the non-empirically visible, and which is nevertheless what attracts the attempt to describe.

Another threat looms over the Dickensian paperscape, according to Prest: the threat of illegibility. Like John Edmondson, Rainsford identifies remote, above-ground standpoints as means of access to significant scenes of human crisis and recognizes a form of emotional geometry in the sets of oppositions between real and symbolic cosmic entities, in particular the Earth and the stars. Indeed, as early as The Lamplighter , Rainsford suggests, one can trace remarkably stylized forms of tension between realistic and imaginative options. As John shows, the travelogue which most conspicuously focuses on a country anchored in its own past and reluctant to welcome a more socially-minded modernity, Pictures from Italy , evidences particularly well this anxiousness to overcome the paradoxical use of past ways of being in a narrative otherwise designed as progressive, socially useful and, as a result, enduring art.

What is it that grants the imaginary a superior form of reality, Andrews asks. Even natural places such as the very quiet churchyard at Cooling, transmogrified in Great Expectations , disturb the mental image we had formed of the place while still keeping the constraints on us of an already processed landscape. Only fleetingly does the narrator, herself unseen, appear to be able to watch and preserve the delicate signs of life pirouetting around the room in which she sits. But then, this weaving in and out of reality, this going through the looking-glass, is something that Dickens managed superbly well in his fiction, although at some cost to his life, which certainly does not lessen the tensional interest we have in him and in his work.


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Beatrix Potter. Virginia Woolf. Arthur Rackham. William Shakespeare. Robert Louis Stevenson. Jonathan Swift. Mark Twain. Oscar Wilde. PG Wodehouse. About Us Fairs Videos. View as List View Grid View. London : First edition in book-form of the novel that transformed the obscure journalist into England's most famous writer in a matter of months.

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The novel was first published in serial form from March to November This copy with the earlier issue "Veller" on the engraved title page, the earlier state plates without the publisher's imprint, the two Learn More. Add to Basket Reserve. Add to Wish List Add to Compare. London : First edition in book-form, in the original publisher's deluxe binding. Chapman and Hall issued Pickwick Papers in cloth for 21s. Patton, p.

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Variant deluxe publisher's bindings are known, including states in green morocco. Dickens's bibliographers have overlooked the deluxe This copy is an early issue, with the plates in early states without publisher imprint, the Buss plates replaced by Phiz plates, and with One of only five such leaves remaining in private hands, this leaf is from the setting manuscript used by the printers. Fewer than 50 of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. London : First edition in book form, early states of most plates, with page numbers and no caption, but with Phiz plates replacing the two Buss plates and with the corrected state frontispiece and Weller title page.

In later states the plates are entirely re-etched and do not contain page locations. London : First edition in book form, of the work that transformed Dickens from an obscure journalist into England's most famous writer in a matter of months. This is a later issue with the two Buss plates replaced with those by Phiz facing pages 52 and 74 , titles and imprints for the plates, and the vignette title page with the signboard reading "Weller" spelled London : First edition, early issue, with most of the first issue points.


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All the plates are in early states with page numbers as called for but no titles or imprints, and the vignette title-page with the signboard reads "Veller" corrected to "Weller" in later issues. Robert Seymour provided the illustrations until he committed suicide; Robert William Buss By "Boz.

Bentley rushed Oliver Twist out in book form before serialization was complete, forcing Cruikshank to hurry the last few plates. Dickens disliked the final "Fireside" plate and asked Cruikshank for a new design, the "Church" plate. He also decided that he no longer wished to Add to Basket Reserved.

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The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens

Smith explains the bibliographical details in Charles Dickens in the Original Cloth: "when Bentley decided to publish Oliver in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank had to complete the last few plates in haste. Dickens did not review them until The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

London : First edition, bound from the original monthly parts as published from April to October , with the stab-holes visible. Dickens had been catapulted to fame with the success of The Pickwick Papers, and to secure his next novel Chapman and Hall offered Dickens a part, a sum ten times greater than that which he had received for Pickwick. London : First edition in book-form following publication in parts from April to October , first issue with "visiter" on p.


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Dickens had been catapulted to fame with the success of The Pickwick Papers, and to secure his next novel Chapman and Hall offered Dickens a part, a sum ten times greater than that which he had Master Humphrey's Clock. London : First edition in book-form of what Gordon Ray describes as "the pinnacle of Dickensian Gothic". He goes on to note that Phiz H. Browne "is in excellent form" and that George Cattermole's "wonderful clutter of antiquarian or architectural detail is well suited to Dickens's chosen subjects".

Master Humphrey was a publishing experiment on Dickens's London : First edition. An attractively bound copy. The Letters. Leipzig : An attractive uniformly-bound collection of German copyright printings, comprising Dickens's letters, two of his travel books, and three of his short stories, together with Forster's life of Dickens. The Old Curiosity Shop. Philadelphia : Presentation copy, inscribed by Dickens to William Cullen Bryant , editor of the New York Evening Post and a leading poet of his generation, inscribed by Dickens: "William Cullen Bryant From his friend and admirer Charles Dickens", signed with his characteristic lavish underscores, and with two accompanying autograph letters signed.

In the Philadelphia : Presentation copy, inscribed by Dickens to William Cullen Bryant , editor of the New York Evening Post and a leading poet of his generation: "William Cullen Bryant From his friend and admirer Charles Dickens", signed with his characteristic lavish underscores. Dickens met Bryant for their first private audience on his American tour on Tuesday The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. London : First edition, bound from the original parts published from December to July Dickens's biographer places Martin Chuzzlewit as marking "a great change in Dickens's conception of moral characteristics For the first time Dickens begins to explore the contradictions and difficulties of the contemporary human world; these are no longer figures London : First edition in book form, first issue, with issue points as stated by Smith, first serialised between December and July This copy has the transposed title plate, which is often suggested as a first issue point.

Hatton and Cleaver long ago dismissed this, however, stating that "It is merely one of the five cases in Chuzzlewit of triplicated Martin Chuzzlewit.

CLiC Dickens Day: our end-of-project celebration at the BMI – CLiC Fiction

London : First edition in book form, first published as a serial between December and July London : First edition, first issue, bound from parts, with all the issue points listed by Smith. With the title plate, not transposed. The transposed plate is often referred to as a first issue point, though Hatton and Cleaver long ago dismissed this, stating that "It is merely one of the five cases in Chuzzlewit of triplicated steels, one of them reading Pictures from Italy. London : First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author at the head of the half-title, "Thomas Beard Esquire, From his old friend Charles Dickens, Devonshire Terrace, Nineteenth May ".

The inscription is dated the day after publication. Thomas Beard was almost the oldest of Dickens's friends, and their friendship was uninterrupted Dombey and Son. Philadelphia : An attractively rebound copy of this edition, which was published in paper covers a few days prior to the completion of Lea and Blanchard's serialized publication of the novel in parts.

LITERATURE - Charles Dickens

One of three American editions of Dombey and Son which were published in London : First edition, extra-illustrated with the 12 character plates by "Phiz" eight engraved solely by him and dated , four vignetted within an oval frame and engraved by both "Phiz" and Robert Young. They were fine portraits of Little Paul, London : First edition, first issue, uncorrected, bound from the monthly parts. The Personal History of David Copperfield. In the preface to a later edition , Dickens would call the novel his "favourite child", a sentiment shared by many readers: "with many lovers of the author's works 'David Copperfield' ranks as the finest of his writings" Eckel, p.

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