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Charles Dickens

Subject: Literature

(1812–70), English novelist, whose first tour of the U.S. (Jan.–May 1842) is described in his American Notes for General Circulation (1842), and furnished the background for ...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

The Companion to Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
173 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ) English writer and performer . In 1832 Dickens planned to audition before Charles *Kemble . But Dickens caught a cold, the audition was cancelled, and he made his career in fiction and journalism. He was, however, an outstanding amateur actor. After the collapse of his marriage in 1858 Dickens undertook to read passages from his books in public. This venture produced reassuring profits and *applause but the strain probably shortened his life. His friend *Macready equated Dickens's rendering of the murder of Nancy (from ...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Hardy

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

...symposium on Dickens published in the Bookman (‘Charles Dickens: Some Personal Recollections and Opinions’, February 1912 ), stating that his own works did not owe much to the influence of Dickens but adding that ‘No doubt they owed something unconsciously, since everybody else's did in those days’. He also expressed the view that Dickens's best novel is David Copperfield . Michael Slater 's essay ‘Hardy and the City’, in New Perspectives on Thomas Hardy , ed. Charles Pettit ( 1994 ), contains an interesting comparison between Dickens and...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

Frances Dann

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
238 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ) English writer and performer. In 1832 Dickens , having taken lessons from Robert Keeley , made an appointment to audition before Charles Kemble . Significantly he offered himself in the line of business of Charles Mathews , an actor who could write or improvise his own material and perform solo entertainments in a variety of characters . Because Dickens had a cold the audition was cancelled, and he made his career in fiction and journalism. He was, however, an outstanding amateur actor. After the collapse of his...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
319 words

...M. , ‘ The Folklore of Charles Dickens ’, Journal of the Folklore Institute , 7 (1970). Grob, Shirley , ‘ Dickens and Some Motifs of the Fairy Tale ’, Texas Studies in Literature and Language , 5 (1964). Hearn, Michael Patrick , ‘Charles Dickens’, in Jane Bingham (ed.), Writers for Children (1988). Kotzin, Michael C. , Dickens and the Fairy Tale (1972). Stone, Harry , Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Novel-Making (1979). Tremper, Ellen , ‘ Commitment and Escape: The Fairy Tales of Thackeray, Dickens, and Wilde ’, The Lion...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Tom Matheson

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

..., Charles ( John Huffam ) ( 1812–70 ), novelist , the only English author whose prodigious gifts may justifiably be compared to Shakespeare’s. Dickens’s life and work are continuously informed by his familiarity with and admiration for all of Shakespeare’s work, which undoubtedly had a transforming influence on Dickens’s creative imagination. There are at least 1,000 textually supported references, echoes, and allusions in novels, essays, stories, letters, and speeches; matched only by those to the New Testament. His first speech refers to...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Beverly Taylor

The Oxford Companion to the Brontes

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

... Dickens, Charles ( 1812–70 ), magazine editor , social reformer , and phenomenally popular novelist—the standard against which reviewers measured his contemporaries . His realistic, sympathetic depictions of outcasts and social evils charted a new direction in Victorian fiction and may have influenced Charlotte's transition from her juvenile writing: on the back of ‘Farewell to Angria’ she noted the oppressive school and child abuse in Nicholas Nickleby ( 1838–9 ). Although intolerant of rebellious heroines, Dickens probably read Jane Eyre , which...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
483 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ) had several connections with Australia and Australian literature. He established his reputation with The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club ( 1837 ) which, like Nicholas Nickleby ( 1839 ), has a character who is transported to Australia. The Papers proved widely popular in colonial Australia, where Pickwick parties were held, an Australian imitation was advertised ( Tobias Twickenham ) and the first pirated edition of the original was published in Hobart in 1838 . Although in later works Dickens continued to transport...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Literature (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Literature
Length:
61 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ), English novelist, whose first tour of the U.S. (Jan.–May 1842 ) is described in his American Notes for General Circulation ( 1842 ), and furnished the background for portions of Martin Chuzzlewit ( 1843–44 ). He visited the U.S. again ( Nov. 1867–April 1868 ), when he presented a popular series of readings in Eastern...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Literature
Length:
54 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ), English novelist , whose first tour of the U.S. (January–May 1842) is described in his American Notes for General Circulation (1842), and furnished the background for portions of Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–4). He visited the U.S. again (November 1867–April 1868), when he presented a popular series of readings in Eastern...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
1,061 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ) . Trollope 's response both to Dickens the novelist and to Dickens the man was at best ambiguous, at worst antipathetic. The two men were acquainted, both professionally and personally, but scarcely intimate. In 1869 Trollope noted that it was not often that he heard from Dickens ‘but such things do occur, now & then’ ( Letters 1, 476). In November 1867 he had acted as a steward and spoken at a dinner given in Dickens's honour at the Freemasons' Hall. Although he described Dickens as ‘a great chieftain in literature’, he made...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Gillian Avery

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature
Length:
322 words

...American Our Young Folk ). Gillian Avery Briggs, Katharine M. , ‘The Folklore of Charles Dickens’, Journal of the Folklore Institute , 7 (1970). Hillard, Molly Clark , Spellbound: The Fairy Tale and the Victorians (2014). Kotzin, Michael C. , Dickens and the Fairy Tale (1972). Stone, Harry , Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Novel-Making (1979). Tremper, Ellen , ‘Commitment and Escape: The Fairy Tales of Thackeray, Dickens, and Wilde’, The Lion and the Unicorn , 2.1...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

Oxford Reader’s Companion To Conrad

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

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ). ‘Books are an integral part of one’s life,’ wrote Conrad in A Personal Record (73), and none was more so to him than the fiction of Charles Dickens , which always evoked his warmest affection. Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby ( 1839 ) had the talismanic significance for Conrad of a work that first introduced him to English imaginative literature, although he read it in Polish translation. A reading of Hard Times ( 1854 ), a work his father translated, probably soon followed. Chief among his early favourites, however, was ...

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

.... Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit . New York, 2000. A critically sophisticated recent study of the early novels. Ford, George H. Dickens and His Readers . Princeton, NJ, 1955. The best analysis of Dickens's reciprocal relationship with his Victorian audience. Frye, Northrop . “Dickens and the Comedy of Humors.” In Experience in the Novel: Selected Papers from the English Institute , edited by Harvey Pearce , 49–81. New York, 1968. A classic essay on the archetypal romance plot underlying Dickens's novels. Johnson, Edgar . Charles Dickens: His...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

Paul Schlicke and John Drew

The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Literary studies (19th century)
Length:
5,493 words

..., Charles . See amateur theatricals of Dickens ; ‘Boz’ ; brothers and sisters of Dickens ; children of Dickens ; composition, Dickens's methods ; Dickens: private life ; Dickens: public life ; Englishness of Dickens ; history, Dickens's attitudes ; homes of Dickens ; journalist, Dickens as ; novelist and man of letters, Dickens as ; pets belonging to Dickens ; playwright, Dickens as ; popularity of Dickens ; portraits, busts, and photographs of Dickens ; public readings ; relatives and descendants of Dickens ; reputation of Dickens ; ...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles   Reference library

Roger Robinson

The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Literature
Length:
336 words

... by All the Year Round . Under his close editorship both included topical articles relating to New Zealand, which are collected in Charles Dickens and New Zealand: A Colonial Image , ed. J. S. Ryan , with notes by A. H. Reed ( 1965 ). Negotiations for Dickens to make a lecture tour to Australia (and presumably New Zealand) in 1862 were not concluded, though he had proposed to write ‘The Uncommercial Traveller Upside Down’. The most interesting of the New Zealand articles are R. H. Horne 's ‘The New Zealand Zauberflote’ ( 1850 ), ‘ A Gold Digger's Notes...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ), novelist and writer , arguably the greatest novelist of the Victorian age. His early writings drew on and reshaped several Romantic age genres, including the *Newgate novel, the miscellaneous *essay , and the picaresque cockney travelogue-cum-sporting chronicle. Dickens's preoccupation with Newgate as a prison fortress, a symbol of the ancien régime , and a mode of literature derived in part from the humiliating boyhood trauma of witnessing his father, a feckless navy clerk, being imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison for debt....

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–1870)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
564 words

..., Charles ( 1812–1870 ), British novelist, generally considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian age. Dickens's childhood was spent on the borderlines of poverty; central to his development was the emotionally crucial period when his father was imprisoned for debt and he, at the age of twelve, was sent to work for a pittance in a blacking warehouse. This period he kept a secret from his family and almost all his friends, but into many of the novels the words “Warren's Blacking” are inserted, as a sort of clue and reminder to himself. It is not...

‘Charles Dickens’

‘Charles Dickens’   Reference library

Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope

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

...Charles Dickens’ (article) . The death of Dickens seems as sudden as did that of his friend Thackeray ; he spoke last week at the Royal Academy, and spoke well. His arrangements with publishers should he not finish Edwin Drood illustrate both his fear and his integrity. Details of his life and critiques of his work are not necessary here, as they are available elsewhere. His immense popularity during his lifetime is a tribute to his understanding of art and human nature. His characters are as famous and familiar as Shakespeare 's. Every household knows Mr...

DICKENS, Charles

DICKENS, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Children's literature studies
Length:
190 words

...DICKENS, Charles ( 1812–70 ) Celebrated author whose novels in his own time defied definition by reader age; he also wrote several books especially for children: A Child’s History of England ( 1851–3 ), A Holiday Romance ( 1868 ), and a Life of Our Lord, composed solely for the use of his own family and not published until 1934 . His Christmas Books ( 1843–8 ), which included A Christmas Carol, were read in many nurseries, while abridgements and retellings for children have been made of many of his novels. The novels themselves, even in their...

Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles (1812–70)   Reference library

The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Social sciences, Economics
Length:
679 words

..., Charles ( 1812–70 ) Dickens was born 7 February 1812 at Landport, Portsea, Hampshire and died 9 June 1870 in London. He is buried at Westminster Abbey. He was educated at the Wellington House Academy and then at a school in Henrietta Street, Brunswick Square. The Pickwick Papers , published in 1836–7 , launched his career as a writer; there followed Oliver Twist ( 1837–9 ) and Nicholas Nickleby ( 1838–9 ). His American Notes ( 1842 ) was based on his first American trip and reflects a horror of chattel slavery. Later novels include his ...

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