Dickens’s law makers and law breakers: Barnard's Inn and beyond
Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript.
Dickens had no love for lawyers. He had been trained briefly at Gray's Inn and later worked as a law-reporter. Both experiences seem to have left him jaded as the long line of distasteful lawyers in his novels - from Dodson and Fogg onwards - clearly indicates. At the same time he was well aware that close to the 'nest of lawyers' (as he called the Inns) lay some of London's worst slums and criminal haunts. The lecture will consider such juxtapositions as those of Fagin's Den and Newgate in Oliver Twist and Tom All Alone's and Lincoln's Inn in Bleak House both in terms of their literary function and their physical presence in Victorian London.
Recorded Tuesday, 7 November 2006