Emily Bowles, ‘Boz, Tibbs, and the Sparkler of Albion: The Many Names of Charles Dickens’

Emily Bowles is a PhD student at the University of York. Her research focuses on Charles Dickens’s self-representation 1857-1870, and representations by Dickens’s friends and family 1870-1939. You can find her on Twitter @EmilyBowles.   Charles Dickens knew the power of a name. From the immortally disgruntled Scrooge to the oft-imitated Pickwick Club, everyone is familiar with a Dickens character or two. It is unsurprising, then, that he also experimented with different names and titles for himself, although perhaps the

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Georgina Grant, Smoking and Respectable Femininity

Georgina is a Curatorial Officer for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, based at Blists Hill Victorian Town. She has the responsibility of maintaining, developing and delivering the interpretation of the 52 acre site. Her role is varied, ranging from researching the history of canal vessels to installing Quaker costume displays and giving talks on a traditional Victorian Christmas. Follow Georgina @GeorgyGrant.  ‘I never saw a woman – not a basket woman or a gipsy – smoke before!’ Charles Dickens 1846

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Barbara Franchi Report on Dickens Universe, 2-9 August 2014, University of California, Santa Cruz

Barbara Franchi is a PhD candidate and Assistant Lecturer at the School of English, University of Kent. Her doctoral project examines the tension between the material and the ideal in A. S. Byatt’s fiction, through the lens of intertextuality. Her research interests include Victorian and Neo-Victorian fiction, fairy tales and children’s literature, gender and queer studies, and contemporary British fiction. You can contact her via email at B.Franchi@kent.ac.uk. She tweets from @barbara_franchi and her blog can be found at bloggingbooksforlife.wordpress.com.

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Reading Serially: The Digital Resurrection of a Victorian Experience?

By Eleanor Reeds Eleanor Reeds is a PhD student and instructor in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on issues of genre and form in the transatlantic nineteenth century, and she blogs from The Ivory Tower. Exactly 150 years after Charles Dickens first published Our Mutual Friend, readers around the world are taking part in an online reading project led by Birkbeck, University of London that attempts to recreate the original experience of encountering

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Really Sick in Bleak House

By Susan E. Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) Susan Cook is Assistant Professor of English at Southern New Hampshire University, where she teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature. She writes about Victorian literature and visual culture. Follow Susan @Susan_E_Cook. I should begin this post with a confession: I am a hypochondriac.  When faced with even the most innocuous medical anomaly, my mind goes to the worst-case scenario.  Discovering Internet medical advice sites is perhaps one of the worst

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Fan Discourse and Teaching Charles Dickens

By Lindsay Lawrence In Fall 2012, I proposed and taught a 4000-level major authors class on Charles Dickens at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Using the wealth of online materials that have become available in the last five years, particularly the Dickens Journals Online in this class, we explored Dickens’s legacy as a serial novelist, journalist, and literary magazine editor. The class also focused on Dickens’s cultural impact and his shrewd reading of the publication industry, including serialization. Inherently, this

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‘Of the people’: Simplicity and popularity in Brighton Rock and David Copperfield

Peter Orford Sometimes it feels like you just can’t escape Dickens. Just the other day I was reading Brighton Rock, and early on in the story was greeted by this passage, as Grahame Greene describes his amateur detective Ida Arnold as she ponders on the death of Hale, a man she barely knew: the cheap drama and pathos of the thought weakened her heart towards him. She was of the people, she cried in cinemas at David Copperfield, when she

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The Martin Chuzzlewit Support Group (Part 2 of 2)

By Susan E. Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) and Elizabeth Coggin Womack (Penn State Brandywine) You can read part one here. Reading Discussion 4 (Serial Parts VII, VIII, and IX): In America (Can We Go Home Now?) Susan: Well, this section was a downer.  To summarize, Dickens does not like America or Americans.  Between Chapters 16 and 23, we learn that Americans: sustain a totally corrupt press, which regularly engages in forgery (Ch. 16); are either slave owners

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The Martin Chuzzlewit Support Group (Part 1 of 2)

By Susan E. Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) and Elizabeth Coggin Womack (Penn State Brandywine) A book club can be an opportunity to share the joys of a literary experience with others. It can provide communal pathos, collective insight, and (depending on the group) tasty baked goods. a Our book club was not of that nature. a This fall, we decided to form a Martin Chuzzlewit reading support group, a virtual book club organized for the sole purpose

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Patrick Allan-Fraser: Victorian Artist, Architect, Author, Collector & Philanthropist

by Duncan McLaren I’ve just been the inaugural writer-in-residence at Hospitalfield near Arbroath. The place is a great resource in respect of Victorian art and literature, as Patrick-Allan Fraser – who left the house to artists of the future when he died in 1890 – had personal links with Dickens as well as Augustus Egg, William Powell Frith and many other artists. I’ve put together a website www.patisback.co.uk which is ongoing. Here is a page-by- page guide to what’s there

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