This work provides concise, accessible introductions to major writers focusing equally on their life and works. Written in a lively style to appeal to both students and readers, books in the series are ideal guides to authors and their writing. Charles Dickens is without doubt a literary giant. The most widely read author of his own generation, his works remain incredibly popular and important today. Often seen as the quintessential Victorian novelist, his texts convey perhaps better than any others the drive for wealth and progress and the social contrasts that characterised the Victorian era. His works are widely studied throughout the world both as literary masterpieces and as classic examples of the nineteenth century novel. Donald Hawes book will provide a short, lively but sophisticated introduction to Dickens's work and the personal and social context in which it was written.
Donald Hawes has taught on Dickens for many years, both in schools and universities, including the University of Westminster and the Open University in the UK. His previous works include Who's Who in Dickens (Routledge) and editing the Everyman edition of Barnaby Rudge.
1. Introduction: Why read Dickens?; 2. Dickens's life - a brief biography; A Guide to the Texts: Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist; 3. Society in fact and fiction; Nicholas Nickleby, Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge; 4. Institutions in fact and fiction; Martin Chuzzlewit, A Christmas Carol, Dombey and Son; 5. Dickens's Illustrators; David Copperfield, Bleak House; 6. Families and relationships in fact and fiction; Hard Times, Little Dorrit; 7. Jokers and Knaves: Dickens's comic characters and villains Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations; 8. Art and entertainment; Our Mutual Friend, The Mystery of Edwin Drood; 9. Adaptations; Index.