Dickens's Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture (Hardback)
  • Dickens's Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture (Hardback)
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Dickens's Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture (Hardback)

(author)
£157.50
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 22/03/2001
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This is the first major study of Dickens's villains. They embody, John argues, the crucial fusion between the 'deviant' and 'theatrical' aspects of his writing. Though there have been many studies of both the macabre and the dramatic Dickens, this book sets up a dialogue between these two main strands. John's wider reappraisal of Dickensian character stems from a belief that post-Romantic criticism and theory has been permeated by an anti-theatrical privileging of the mind. Dickens's characters, by contrast, are commonly modelled on passional prototypes from nineteenth-century melodrama. Her interdisciplinary study locates the rationale for Dickens's melodramatic characters in his political commitment to the principle of cultural inclusivity and his related resistance to 'psychology'. Melodramatic villains function as the key site of Dickens's responses to theatricality, psychology, and cultural inclusiveness. Dickens's Villains suggests a new way of understanding the cultural and political implications of his melodramatic aesthetics.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198184614
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 437 g
Dimensions: 224 x 147 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is a strong, provocative contribution to Dickens studies, to our deeper understanding of his debt to the complex protean creature that is 'popular culture' - and his contribution to it. * The Review of English Studies *
John's book is a major, original, and potentially long-lasting reconsideration of undervalued dimensions of Dicken's ideology and aesthetics. * Robert L. Patten *
It is cause for celebration indeed to know that even now Juliet John is at work developing implications of this splendid book in a further study of Dicken's cultural politics. * Paul Schlicke, The Dickens Forum *
icken's Villains is one of the freshest interpretations of Dickens in a generation. The reframing of the conditions for Dickensian characterization is a signal accomplishment, responsibly formulated and challengingly presented as an alternative to the critical traditions of the post-war era. * Robert L. Patten, Nineteenth-Century Literature *
a wonderfully intelligent and wide-ranging study which offers a fundamental challenge not simply to our view of his criminal characters, but to our understanding of the ideology of his aesthetics... It is cause for celebration indeed to know that even now Juliet John is at work developing implications of this splendid book in a further study of Dickenss cultural politics. Dickenss Villains will, I confidently predict, significantly alter the ways in which we read Dickens. * Paul Schlicke, The Dickensian, 2002 *
John... delivers a critical wallop in this elegantly written, thoroughly researched, and persuasively argued book * Mark M. Hennelly, Jr., Dickens Quarterly *
Essential contribution to Dickens criticism * R. Ducharme, Choice *
Dickens studies and critics of popular culture will owe an enormous debt to Dickens's Villains for so expertly tracing the causes and consequences of the desire to recuperate Dickens for 'literature'. However, this book is not just a ground breaking study of Dickens's villains in relation to popular cultural forms ... This book is important because it rethinks Dickens's identity as a novelist, a cultural critic and within the disciplines of literary and cultural studies. It enables Dickens to be thought about in entirely new cultural and philosophical contexts. At the end of the book, John looks forward to a 'definitive' book on Dickens and popular culture. She herself is uniquely placed to offer the world such an invaluable work. * Susan Rowland, Newsletter of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions *

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