cover of book

The Curious World of Dickens
by Clive Hurst and Violet Moller
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
Cloth: 978-1-85124-384-6

Charles Dickens is among the greatest English novelists, and the power of his prose can be found in his portrayals of the harsh social realities of his time, from the depiction of poverty-stricken orphan Oliver Twist to the squalor of the slums and skewering of the justice system in Bleak House.

Published to celebrate the twohundredth anniversary of Dickens’s birth, this book brings together quotations from Dickens’s novels and letters with photographs of their original covers and Victorian-era images—among them, prints, posters, and newspaper pieces—that shed light on the topics about which Dickens writes. Ordered by theme, the book covers such topics as schools in Victorian England, domestic entertainment, the introduction of the railroad, and the poor conditions in prisons and workhouses, which loom large in Dickens’s novels—and, indeed, his own childhood. Dickens was also an avid theater enthusiast who arranged productions and public readings of many of his works, and this book explores his role throughout his later years in adroitly adapting his novels for the stage.

The Curious World of Dickens
breathes new life on this momentous occasion into the vibrant world inhabited by Dickens and his characters.
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