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Dickens's Style
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Book description

Charles Dickens, generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian age, was known as 'The Inimitable', not least for his distinctive style of writing. This collection of twelve essays addresses the essential but often overlooked subject of Dickens's style, with each essay discussing a particular feature of his writing. All the essays consider Dickens's style conceptually, and they read it closely, demonstrating the ways it works on particular occasions. They show that style is not simply an aesthetic quality isolated from the deepest meanings of Dickens's fiction, but that it is inextricably involved with all kinds of historical, political and ideological concerns. Written in a lively and accessible manner by leading Dickens scholars, the collection ranges across all Dickens's writing, including the novels, journalism and letters.


'Recommended to scholars and students who are interested in the perils and pleasure of Dickensese.'

Source: The Times Literary Supplement

'Anyone seriously interested in Dickens, especially anyone who cares about his language, will welcome the publication of Dickens’s Style. The thirteen essays collected here bring a fresh and consistently illuminating perspective to bear on an aspect of Dickens that has largely been neglected or undervalued in most recent studies of his work … Dickens’s Style marks a valuable return to consideration of Dickens’s language. As such, it is a useful reminder both of what makes Dickens distinctive and of how close reading at its best remains fundamental to an understanding of his work.'

Source: Dickens Quarterly

'… offers Dickens readers unprecedented insights … Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.'

N. Lukacher Source: Choice

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Select bibliography

Alter, Robert, ‘Reading Style in Dickens’, Philosophy and Literature, 20 (1) (1996): 130–7.
Bevis, Matthew, The Art of Eloquence: Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Bowen, John, Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Brook, G. L., The Language of Dickens (London: Deutsch, 1970).
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Douglas-Fairhurst, Robert, ‘Charles Dickens: Going Astray’, in Adrian Poole (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to English Novelists (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 132–48.
Douglas-Fairhurst, Robert, Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist (Cambridge, MA: HarvardUniversity Press, 2011).
Garis, Robert, The Dickens Theatre: A Reassessment of the Novels (Oxford University Press, 1965).
Golding, Robert, Idiolects in Dickens: The Major Techniques and Chronological Development (London: Macmillan, 1985).
Lambert, Mark, Dickens and the Suspended Quotation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981).
Newman, S. J., Dickens at Play (London: Macmillan, 1981).
Newsom, Robert, ‘Style of Dickens’, in Paul Schlicke (ed.), Oxford Reader’s Companion to Dickens (Oxford University Press, 1999), 553–7.
Partlow, Robert, Jnr. (ed.), Dickens the Craftsman: Strategies of Presentation (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970).
Quiller-Couch, Arthur, Charles Dickens and other Victorians (Cambridge: The University Press, 1925).
Quirk, Randolph, The Linguist and the English Language (London: Arnold, 1974).
Reed, John R., Dickens’s Hyperrealism (Columbus, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010).
Sørensen, Knud, Charles Dickens: Linguistic Innovator (Aarhus: Arkona, 1985).
Stewart, Garrett, Dickens and the Trials of Imagination (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974).
Stewart, Garrett, Death Sentences: Styles of Dying in British Fiction (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984).
Stewart, Garrett, Dear Reader: The Conscripted Audience in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).
Stewart, Garrett, ‘Dickens and Language’, in John O. Jordan (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 136–51.
Stewart, Garrett, Novel Violence (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
Sucksmith, H. P., The Narrative Art of Charles Dickens: The Rhetoric of Sympathy and Irony in his Novels (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970).


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