Charles Dickens and the Victorian Child

  • by Robert Polhemus (Professor of English, Stanford University), Diane Wood Middlebrook (Professor of English
  • 1 hrs and 20 mins
  • Speech

Publisher's Summary

In the process of creating some of the most famous children in literature, Charles Dickens revolutionized the storytelling technique by making children the focus of many of his novels. Until Dickens, most novelists featured adult characters who served as role models to the reader. Professor Polhemus shows how Dickens broke tradition by using children as a way of candidly reflecting the dynamics of society. In his discussion, Professor Polhemus, an expert on the 19th-century British novel, explains his theories by assuming the voices and interpreting the thoughts of Dickens characters such as Oliver Twist, Little Nell, and David Copperfield.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating lecture, but audio quality so-so

I highly recommend this lecture for any fan of Victorian fiction (Dickens, Conan Doyle, you name it) -- it's a wonderful view of just how revolutionary Dickens' stories were for their time, and adds a psychological twist that borders on gothic (you HAVE to love those Victorians!).

My only gripe is with the audio quality. It sounds like the lecture was recorded surreptitiously on a cell phone in someone's pocket... in their winter coat! Sheesh!
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- Kathleen

Wonderful lecture

Robert Polhemus is a foremost Dickens scholar, and this lecture is exemplary in every way. Astute, witty, generous. I loved it. Wish Audible provided more academic lectures of this standard.
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- Judith Seaboyer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Stanford Audio