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Overview

Bella Wilfer

Subject: Literature

A character in Dickens's Our Mutual Friend.

Bella Wilfer

Bella Wilfer  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
A character in Dickens's Our Mutual Friend.
Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend  

A novel by Dickens, published in monthly parts between May 1864 and Nov. 1865.John Harmon returns from the exile to which he has been sent by a harsh father, a rich dust‐contractor; he expects to ...
Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
352 words

...in monthly parts ( May 1864–November 1865 ). John Harmon returns from the exile to which he has been sent by a harsh father, a rich dust‐contractor; he expects to receive the inheritance to which his father has attached the condition that he shall marry a certain girl, Bella Wilfer. Bella is unknown to him, and he confides to a mate of the ship which is bringing him home his intention of concealing his identity until he has formed some judgement of his allotted wife. The mate lures him to a riverside haunt, attempts to murder him, throws his body into the...

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
467 words

...1865 ). The plot is exceptionally complex. John Harmon returns from the exile to which he has been sent by a harsh father, a rich dust‐contractor; he expects to receive the inheritance to which his father has attached the condition that he shall marry a certain girl, Bella Wilfer. Bella is unknown to him, and he confides to a mate of the ship which is bringing him home his intention of concealing his identity until he has formed some judgement of his allotted wife. The mate lures him to a riverside haunt, attempts to murder him, throws his body into the...

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend   Reference library

Paul Schlicke

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
3,079 words

...disguise is uncovered, and Mr Boffin reveals to Bella that his miserliness was pretence to educate her away from mercenary aspirations. In Betty Higden , who runs away with funeral money sewn into her dress to avoid a pauper burial, Dickens works a reprise on his Poor Law satire in Oliver Twist ( see poor relief ). In Podsnap he ridicules John Bullish insularity and sanctimoniousness. Mrs Wilfer is one of the most comic of a long line of Dickensian termagents, and the ‘innocent elopement’ of Bella on an outing with her father displays Dickens's...

domestic fiction

domestic fiction   Reference library

Sally Ledger

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
812 words

...arrangement is frequently idealized—if not always successfully realized—in Dickens's fiction. The Cratchits' domestic oasis ( CC ), the Toodles' similarly reassuring domestic haven ( DS ), and the projected marital life of David and Agnes ( DC ) and of John Harmon and Bella Wilfer ( OMF ), all approximate to the domestic ideal as promoted by domestic fiction. Another significant characteristic of domestic fiction is its containment and domestication of sexual desire in general and of female desire in particular. Dickens's fiction is celebrated for its...

sexuality and gender

sexuality and gender   Reference library

Ella Westland

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
2,233 words

... Mary hogarth and Georgina hogarth did—yet Ruth Pinch 's coy behaviour to her brother, Bella Wilfer 's flirtation with her father, Mr Dombey 's response to his daughter, and Mr Peggotty 's extravagant love for his niece sometimes play too close for comfort around the boundary with incest. The lack of sexual attractiveness in Dickens's male characters is a matter that has caused little comment. The men provided as rewards for good women— Bella Wilfer 's John Harmon and Ruth Pinch 's John Westlock —are as unremarkable as their plain names. The...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature, Children's literature studies
Length:
1,047 words
Illustration(s):
1

...written specifically for them. Chapters of his novels were adapted for children, but many young Victorians read the books in their entirety. Kate Douglas Wiggin ( 1856– 1923 ), in My Garden of Memory ( 1923 ), said that “Little Nell and the Marchioness, Florence Dombey, Bella Wilfer, Susan Nipper and Little Em'ly” were her friends. And in an encounter with Dickens on a railroad journey during his 1868 American tour, she told him that she had “read every one of [his novels] but the two we are going to buy in Boston, and some of them six times,” only...

Ternan, Ellen Lawless

Ternan, Ellen Lawless (1839–1914)   Reference library

Michael Slater

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
1,710 words

...further and further from him’ ( The Life of Charles Dickens , 1935 , p. 281). He began a reductively simplicistic tradition in Dickens criticism of seeing Nelly as the model for the novelist's later heroines, especially Pip's tormenting Estella in Great Expectations and Bella Wilfer in Our Mutual Friend in her ‘mercenary little woman’ phase. This approach was developed by Edmund wilson , most influentially in his seminal ‘Two Scrooges’ essay in The Wound and the Bow ( 1941 ) and appears also, in a somewhat more tentative form, in Edgar Johnson 's...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
7,670 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Darcy neatly spares five daughters the consequences of entail while providing the lively heroine with an appropriate mate. Although such blessings inevitably accompany Dickensian romance, he always tried to qualify the prospect of financial or social blessing for his lovers. Bella Wilfer , for instance, must prove her love for John Harmon by marrying him in exceedingly modest circumstances; yet this rite of passage becomes an artificial “trial” because, to her surprise, by marrying him she turns out to have acquired the very same fortune for which she had...

London

London   Reference library

Andrew Sanders, Andrew Sanders, Andrew Sanders, Andrew Sanders, Paul Schlicke, David Parker, Andrew Sanders, David Parker, Andrew Sanders, Andrew Sanders, Anne Humpherys, and David Parker

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
12,756 words

...pilasters, and columns. This is the wall circuited by the Uncommercial Traveller in ‘Night Walks’, thinking of ‘the treasure within’ and of ‘the guard of soldiers passing the night there’ (the soldiers had been stationed there nightly since the Gordon Riots). The mercenary Bella Wilfer , glancing at ‘the mighty bank’, also thinks ‘how agreeable it would be to have an hour's gardening there, with a bright copper shovel’. Although the Bank of England had lost its old monopoly with the formation of joint-stock banks under Acts of Parliament passed in 1826 and...

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