Every Thing in Dickens: Ideas and Subjects Discussed by Charles Dickens in His Complete Works

Every Thing in Dickens: Ideas and Subjects Discussed by Charles Dickens in His Complete Works

Every Thing in Dickens: Ideas and Subjects Discussed by Charles Dickens in His Complete Works

Every Thing in Dickens: Ideas and Subjects Discussed by Charles Dickens in His Complete Works

Synopsis

An exhaustive compilation of every quotable quote in Dickens bearing on the ideas and subjects he discusses....invaluable to every scholar, journalist, or other writer who wants to find quickly what Dickens said about anything, it contains over 860,000 words, 5,000 captions and subcaptions, 56 illustrations, and 27 extended extracts which capture the greatest "scenes" in the oeuvre.

Excerpt

The world that Charles Dickens created is palpable, material, and vividly substantive, and it is also, inevitably and necessarily, filled with ideas, organizing concepts and categories from Victorian daily life and thought. Every page of his fiction, his journalism and his speeches contributes to Dickens' expression of the plethoric fullness of ideas and organizing categories that the Victorian world provided--about love, life, politics, society, science, technology, religion--about almost everything.

In that sense, Dickens is one vast Topicon of the Victorian world, and George Newlin has created a Topicon of Dickens. Every Thing in Dickens is not a key to all Victorian mythologies, but it is, along with Newlin Everyone in Dickens, the key to almost all of Dickens. Though no reference work could ever be totally comprehensive in regard to Dickens' ideas, Newlin's selections comprehend so much that the result is a vast panorama. Of course there is nothing small-scale about Dickens, and Newlin's scale mirrors Dickens' vastness.

Readers and scholars will not have to be Dickensians to find within this reference work a fascinating illumination of the Victorian world: though it takes Dickens as its text, it is an interdisciplinary cornucopia. Historians of every sort will be able readily to locate vivid Dickensian exemplifications of Victorian life: from "Adolescence" to "Zululand," from "Akashic Records" to "Zoological Gardens."

Every Thing in Dickens can be read for pleasure, for casual browsing in the distinctiveness of Victorian things and thoughts; but it can also be mined for selective gold by the social historian, the political historian, the literary historian, and by those who simply need or want to know something specific about Dickens himself or about Victorian manners, morals, thoughts, and things.

There are two important features that great reference works possess: information and access. If you know, even in a general way, what you are looking for, they make it possible for you to get there. Dickens scholars have previously made efforts to provide information and access; some of them are estimable. But they have taken the form of either lists of characters or summaries of plots or pithy collections of sayings. These efforts have been limited by their available technology: the pen, the notecard, the typewriter.

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