Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons In some ways, it is extremely difficult to pin down what makes Charles Dickens (1812-1870) a great writer. With a career than ran from 1836 to 1870, from Sketches by Boz to the unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens is the acknowledged master of the Victorian novel, sometimes considered second only to Shakespeare among the ranks of English language authors. But what makes him great? Why did he transcend his own century and find his way into so many aspects of contemporary popular culture? As a way of perhaps narrowing the field, let us consider, for a moment, what weaknesses one might find in Dickens. First of all, we might acknowledge his tendency to rely on coincidence. For instance, Oliver Twist ends entirely too neatly (but we wouldn't dream of giving it away). Also, Dickens' more sentimental aspects have not aged well. Of The Old Curiosity Shop, Oscar Wilde quipped, 'One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears…of laughter.' Dickens also has an unfortunate tendency to write very good, very beautiful, very dull heroines: Agnes in David...
Read the essay: Charles Dickens: Master Storyteller by Erin Nyborg
# Title Description Contributor
1 Dickens' Railways

Professor Stphen Gill, Lincoln College, gives a talk about the influence the Railways had on...

Stephen Gill
2 Why should we study Dickens?

Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst of Magdalen College, Oxford, discusses his current research and...

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Ilana Lassman
3 Dickens's Points of View

Professor Jon Mee, University of Warwick, discusses how Dickens's fiction can be considered...

Jon Mee
4 Why Dickens?

Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst talks of Dickens' life and influences and why these have made...

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
# Title Description Contributor
1 Dickens’s law makers and law breakers: Barnard's Inn and beyond

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript.

...

Andrew Sanders
2 Dickens and the Moving Age (lecture)

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript.

...

Tony Williams
3 The face of Charles Dickens - portraits of the great author

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript

...

Andrew Xavier
4 Are traditional texts always what they seem? Great Expectations pt1 (lecture)

Video lecture by Simon Swift, University of Leeds and discussion board.

Simon Swift
5 Are traditional texts always what they seem? Great Expectations pt2 (lecture)

Video lecture by Simon Swift, University of Leeds and discussion board.

In this second...

Simon Swift
6 ‘This ain’t the shop for justice’: Crime in Dickens’s London (lecture)

Description : Free public lecture by Dr Tony Williams. From Gresham College. Available as video...

Tony Williams
7 Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript

...

Tony Williams
8 Phiz, Dickens and London

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio, transcript and power-point...

Valerie Browne Lester
9 ‘Lesser breeds within the law’ - Dickens and minor legal officers

Free public lecture from Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript

...

Angus Easson
# Title Description Author
1 Dombey and Son

ebook version of Dombey and Son

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
2 The Pickwick Papers

ebook version of The Pickwick Papers

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
3 Martin Chuzzlewit

ebook version of Martin Chuzzlewit

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
4 Nicholas Nickleby

ebook version of Nicholas Nickleby

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
5 The pic-nic papers

London; Ward. Lock & Co. 1882

Charles Dickens
6 The mystery of Edwin Drood, and some uncollected pieces

Boston: Fields, Osgood & Co. 1870

Charles Dickens
7 Hard Times

Lond. &c. 1908
Series: Nelson's sixpenny classics 28
Lond. &c. 1908 Series:...

Charles Dickens
8 The battle of life. With a selection of Christmas carols.

Series: Cassell's national library 157

Charles Dickens
9 The posthumous papers of the Pickwick Club.

With forty-three illustrations, by R. Seymour and Phiz..
Published: London: Chapman and...

Charles Dickens
10 The adventures of Oliver Twist, or, The parish boy's progress.

By Charles Dickens. With twenty-four illustrations on steel, by George Cruikshank
A new...

Charles Dickens
11 A tale of two cities. Charles Dickens
12 American notes for general circulation Charles Dickens
13 Our mutual friend

with illustrations by Marcus Stone.

Charles Dickens
14 A Christmas carol in prose: being a ghost story of Christmas

ebook version of A Christmas carol in prose: being a ghost story of Christmas

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
15 Bleak House Charles Dickens
16 Pictures from Italy

ebook version of Pictures from Italy

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
17 Barnaby Rudge

With illustr. by G. Cattermole and H.K. Browne.

Charles Dickens
18 Great expectations

ebook version of Great expectations

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
19 Charles Dickens

Essay

George Orwell, George Orwell
# Essay Title Description Contributor
1 Charles Dickens: Master Storyteller
...
Erin Nyborg
2 Victorian Publishing History

During the nineteenth century, the population of England grew from 8.9 to 32.5 million. This...

Charlotte Barrett
3 Victorian Poetry and Fiction

The years 1837-1901 in which Queen Victoria reigned were highly influential in the development...

Charlotte Barrett
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Charles Dickens
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Ever your affectionate Father, Charles Dickens

Article about and transcript + image of a letter from Charles Dickens to his son Henry. From...

2 Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations (course)

An online course from the Open University, module A210_4.

Description: "This unit...

Open University
3 Charles Dickens audiobooks (Librivox)

Librivox catalogue (with links to download) of audio recorded readings of works by Charles...

4 Charles Dickens and his readers

Essay with images and links by Mary Hammond. Part of the OpenLearn unit 'History of reading: An...

Mary Hammond