Dickens and the Spirit of the Age considers the extent to which Dickens and his work reflect the vibrant novelty of the middle third of the nineteenth century, an age in which the modern world was shaped and determined. It looks at the culture from which Dickens sprang - a mechanized and increasingly urbanized culture - and it sees his rootlessness and restlessness as symptomatic of what was essentially new: the period's political and technological enterprise; its urbanization; its new definitions of social class and social mobility; and, finally, its dynamic sense of distinction from the preceding age. Although his fiction was rooted in traditions established and evolved in the eighteenth century, Dickens was uniquely equipped to remould the English novel into a new and flexible fictional form, as a direct response to the social, urban, and political challenges of his time.
`The discussion of Paris and London is among the strongest in the book, and Sanders elegantly reveals some of the ways in which these cities, with their various histories and their different cityscapes, so strongly attracted the great Victorian writer. ... Sanders's book convincingly illustrates Dickens's qualifications for representing and engaging with the novelty of his own age. ...By so adeptly presenting his case, Sanders makes compelling claims for Dickens's continuing relevance and importance to our own age.' Tore Rem, September 2000 `most fasinating for its local discussion and its detail. The contexts in which Sanders situates the victorian writer are often revealing. ...The discussion of Dicken's petty-bourgeois attitudes against the background of the complex and changing perceptions of class in Victorian Britain is also among the most stimulating in the book. One of the things Sanders does very admirably is to normalize Dickens. That is, by conscientiously historicizing him, he shows a Dickens who is more representative than odd. ...The discussion of Dickens's relationship to eighteenth-century novelists such as Fielding and Smollett is also perceptive, and Sanders makes intelligent suggestions about what impact they had on Dickens's fiction.' Tore Rem, Sept 2000 `Sanders is astute in placing Dickens in relation to literary tradition.' Paul Schlicke, Review of English Studies, Vol. 52 `Dickens and the Spirit of the Age is historical criticism at its best. Sanders sails skilfully between the Scylla of dry-as-dust pedantry and the Charybdis of jargon-laden theorizing. Whereas all too many works of criticism over the past generation which purport to establish the relevance of Dickens to the modern reader lack the necessary ballast of sound historical awareness, Sanders brings depth and range of familiarity with nineteenth-century literature and culture which make this book constantly enlightening.' Paul Schlicke, Review of English Studies, Vol 52 `most fascinating for its local discussion and its detail.' Tore Rem, Notes and Queries, Vol.47, No.3, Sept. 00. `The discussion of Dicken's petty-bourgeois attitudes agains the background of the complex and changing perceptions of class in Victorian Britain is also among the most stimulating in the book./ One of the things Sanders does very admirably is to normalize Dickens.' Tore Rem, Notes and Queries, Vol.47, No.3, Sept. 00. `Sander's book convincingly illustrates Dickens's qualifications for representing and engaging with the novelty of his own age.' Tore Rem, Notes and Queries, Vol.47, No.3, Sept. 00.
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st February 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24 x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.35