A Critical Study of Charles Dickens : Humor, Satire and Pathos of the Victorian Era, Vol. I and II

Edited by Donald V Bodeen, Dominant, 2009, 628 p, 2 vols, ISBN : 8178885859, $80.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Vol. I. Preface. Chronology of Dickens. Charles John Huffam Dickens. I. The man, his times and his immortal stories: 1. Charles Dickens and his times. 2. Dickens' Growth as a man and writer. 3. Charles Dickens: the storyteller. 4. Art, veracity, and moral purpose of Dickens writings. 5. Dickens' characterization. 6. Satiric portraiture of people. 7. Women and children in Dickens' storytelling. 8. Humor and Pathos of situations and characters. 9. On Charles Dickens' style of prose. 10. Dickens' political radicalism. 11. Comparative analysis of Dickens' with his contemporaries. 12. In the Latter years of literary and personal life. II. Complete critical introduction to Charles Dickens' literature: 1. Dickens in Victorian universe. 2. Sketches by Boz. 3. Pickwick papers. 4. Nicholas Nickleby. 5. Oliver Twist. 6. Old curiosity shop. 7. Barnaby Rudge. 8. American notes. 9. Pictures from Italy. 10. Martin Chuzzlewit. 11. Christmas books. 12. Dombey and son.

Vol. II. (Contd.) Complete critical introduction to Charles Dickens' literature : 13. David Copperfield. 14. Christmas stories. 15. Bleak house. 16. Child's history of England. 17. Hard times. 18. Little Dorrit. 19. A tale of two cities. 20. Great expectations. 21. Our mutual friend. 22. Edwin Drood. 23. Master Humphrey's clock. 24. Pieces and papers from journals. III. A contrasting view on life and works of Charles Dickens: 1. Everyone's Dickens, the moral critic. 2. Dickens in the light of class and social origin. 3. Of views on poverty and class distinction. 4. Facts, imagination without any depth of reason. 5. Of literary qualities ...Sans content. 6. His limitations and secrets behind popularity. IV. Charles Dickens through his letters and speeches: 1. Letters of Charles Dickens. 2. Speeches by Charles Dickens. 3. Further readings on Charles Dickens.

"The book talks about Charles Dickens and his writings in candid detail illustrating him as a person and an accomplished writer of his age. It also carries critical notes on all his works and discusses his style of fiction vis-a-vis his contemporaries. Storytelling of Dickens is filled with humor and pathos of the characters, real and live, picked up from around the contemporary Victorian society, topped and spiced to suit his design of plots, which kept a whole lot of his readers engrossed. No wonder they enjoyed his episodic tales and waited eagerly for fresh issues of his monthly journals to show up on stands.

The book is divided into four sections each devoted to address exclusive facets of the writer's life. Section-one is about Charles Dickens and his times which tells Dickens' growth as a man, writer and the story teller while focusing on his art, veracity, and moral purpose of his writings. His characterization, satiric portraiture of people, humour and pathos of situations and characters and style of prose.

Section two carries criticism of his 24 important works ranging from Sketches by Boz and Pickwick Papers to Edwin Drood and Master Humphrey's Clock.

Section Three is the critical assessment of his works at large, the moral critic his works in the light of class and social origin, his views on poverty and class distinction, facts and imagination without any depth of reason and his literary qualities irrespective of the content. The section also gauges his limitations and secrets behind immense popularity.

Section four includes his important letters to Wilkie Collins and his referable speeches during his famous lecture tours. Thus the book is fine desk reference for a Dickens enthusiast." (jacket)

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