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For Learning, For Life Series - Jenny Hartley 'Charles Dickens'

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Blackwell's Bookshop

48-51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

United Kingdom

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Join us for one of our 'For Learning, For Life' talks, offering the opportunity to explore and learn a fascinating subject this new year.

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Blackwell's is thrilled to be welcoming Jenny Hartley, author of 'Charles Dickens: A Very Short Introduction' to explore all elements of one of our most popular authors. Why not make 2020 the year you pick up a Charles Dickens classic!

Synopsis

Charles Dickens is credited with creating some of the world's best-known fictional characters, and is widely regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian age. Even before reading the works of Dickens many people have met him already in some form or another. His characters have such vitality that they have leapt from his pages to enjoy flourishing lives of their own: The Artful Dodger, Miss Havisham, Scrooge, Fagin, Mr Micawber, and many many more. His portrait has been in our pockets, on our ten-pound notes; he is a national icon, indeed himself a generator of what Englishness signifies.

In this Very Short Introduction Jenny Hartley explores the key themes running through Dickens's corpus of works, and considers how they reflect his attitudes towards the harsh realities of nineteenth century society and its institutions, such as the workhouses and prisons. Running alonside this is Dickens's relish of the carnivalesque; if there is a prison in almost every novel, there is also a theatre. She considers Dickens's multiple lives and careers: as magazine editor for two thirds of his working life, as travel writer and journalist, and his work on behalf of social causes including ragged schools and fallen women. She also shows how his public readings enthralled the readers he wanted to reach but also helped to kill him. Finally, Hartley considers what we mean when we use the term 'Dickensian' today, and how Dickens's enduring legacy marks him out as as a novelist different in kind from others.

Jenny Hartley is Emeritus Professor at the University of Roehampton. She is the author of two books on British women's writing from the Second World War, and The Reading Groups Book (2001, 2002 OUP), a pioneering survey of reading groups. Her work on Dickens includes Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women (Methuen 2008) and editing The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens (OUP 2012). She is a founder member of the Prison Reading Groups project, and was President of the International Dickens Fellowship 2013-2015.

All 'For Learning For Life' talks are free to attend and everyone is welcome, please register in advance. Talks may be taking place in our Philosophy Department, which is only accessible via a small set of stairs. Seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first seated basis, with standing room available. For all enquiries, please email us on events.oxford@blackwell.co.uk or call our Customer Service Department on 01865 333623.

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Blackwell's Bookshop

48-51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

United Kingdom

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