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AMS Press, Inc.
25 Van Zant Street, Unit 1B3
Norwalk, CT 06855-1702

Charles Dickens as an Agent of Change

Edited by
Joachim Frenk and Lena Steveker

ISBN-10: 0-404-64482-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64482-6

AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, No. 52

Dickens was (and still is) an agent of change in an age of changes. His works, bursting with restless energy in the Inimitable’s protean style, registered and commented on the ongoing changes in the Victorian world while their own fictional and factional worlds kept (and keep) changing.

Containing work from an international group of Dickens scholars—including Malcolm Andrews, Matthias Bauer, Joel J. Brattin, Doris Feldmann, Herbert Foltinek, Robert Heaman, Michael Hollington, Bert Hornback, Norbert Lennartz, Chris Louttit, Jerome Meckier, Nancy Aycock Metz, David Paroissien, Christopher Pittard, and Robert Tracy—the 15 essays assembled here are arranged in four sections that suggest the many ways in which the notion of change has found entry into and is negotiated in Dickens’s works. An afterword by Edgar Rosenberg adds a personal account of how Dickens changed the life of one eminent Dickensian.


Joachim Frenk and Lena Steveker, Introduction: Changing Dickens

I. Dickens and Social Change
Jerome Meckier, Repetition and Reversal: Patterns for Social Change in Pickwick Papers
Joel J. Brattin, Three Revolutions: Alternate Routes to Social Change in Bleak House
Robert Heaman, Dickens, Society, and Art: Change in Dickens’s View of Effecting Social Reform
Bert Hornback, The World Changing Dickens, Dickens Changing the World

II. Dickens and Changes of Power
David Paroissien, Parrots, Birds of Prey, and Snorting Cattle: Dickens’s Whig Agenda
Nancy Aycock Metz, “The Tremendous Potency of the Small”: Dickens, the Individual, and Social Change in a Post-America, Post-Catastrophist Age
Michael Hollington, Money, Power, and Appearance in Dombey and Son

III. Dickens and Literary Change
Malcolm Andrews, The Passing of the Pickwick Moment
Matthias Bauer, The Chimes and the Rhythm of Life
Norbert Lennartz, Radical Dickens: Dickens and the Tradition of Romantic Radicalism
Herbert Foltinek, Modern Characters in the Late Novels of Charles Dickens

IV. Dickens and Changes in Popular Culture and in the Theater
Doris Feldmann, The Cultural Politics of Dickens’s Hard Times
Christopher Pittard, Conjuring Dickens: Magic, Intellectual Property, and The Old Curiosity Shop
Chris Louttit, Dickens on the Victorian Stage: Two East End Adaptations of Bleak House
Robert Tracy, The Frozen Deep: Gad’s Hill, Summer 1857

Edgar Rosenberg, How to Read Dickens in English: A Last Retrospect