Student Companion to Charles Dickens

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Greenwood Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 166 pages
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Charles Dickens was the most popular writer of his age and is still considered one of the world's greatest novelists. This well-written study surveys his unusual and prolific life, relating his fiction writings to his concerns and active involvement with social conditions of early Victorian England. Glancy skillfully takes the reader back in time to appreciate the historical settings that inspired works like "Oliver Twist, Great Expectations," and "A Tale of Two Cities." An entire chapter is devoted to each of these works, as well as to "David Copperfield, Hard Times," the Christmas books, and the early novels from "The Pickwick Papers" to "Martin Chuzzlewit." In each chapter Glancy's analysis of plot, style, and character development bring these imaginative stories to life for the reader. This book examines Dickens's keen understanding of human nature and draws out the themes that make works such as "A Christmas Carol" as beloved today as when first written.

This companion to Dickens will aid students in understanding the social context and literary genius of one of the greatest Victorian novelists. The thorough biographical chapter traces Dickens' life from his childhood through the development of his multi-faceted literary career. The literary heritage chapter examines the tremendous influence Dickens exerted on writing then and now. This volume surveys all of Dickens' work and provides in-depth readings of five of his novels and his Christmas works. The series format makes analysis of setting, plot, character development, and themes for each work accessible to students. The alternate critical perspectives enhance readers' understanding of Dickens' work. The selected bibliography and reviews cover both original and contemporary sources.

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About the author (1999)

RUTH GLANCY is Associate Professor of English at Concordia University College of Alberta. She is author of several books and articles on Dickens including a companion to A Tale of Two Cities and two bibliographies. Best known for her work on Dickens and Christmas, she has edited his Christmas Books and Christmas Stories, and is regularly interviewed on the subject at Christmas time.

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