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Dickens and popular entertainment

Dickens and popular entertainment

Schlicke, Paul

Dickens and Popular Entertainmentis the first extended study of this vital aspect of Dicken's life and work. Ranging widely through showmen's memoirs, playbills, advertisements, journals, drawings and imaginative literature, Paul Schlicke explores the ways in which Dickens channelled his love of entertainment into incomparable artistry. Circus, fair, theatre and street performances provided the novelist with subject matter and with the sources of imaginative stimulus essential to his art. Splendidly illustrated with nineteenth-century engravings, many reprinted here for the first time, this study offers a challenging reassessment of Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shopand Hard Times.It shows the important place entertainment held in Dicken's journalism and presents an illuminating perspective on the public readings which dominated the last twelve years of his life

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published London: Unwin Hyman, 2002
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Statement of responsibility: Paul Schlicke
ISBN: 0203206762, 9780048000385, 9780203206768
Note: Originally published: 1985.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: xiv, 288 p. : ill.
Subject: Performing arts Great Britain History 19th century.; Performing arts in literature.; Popular culture Great Britain History 19th century.; Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 Knowledge Performing arts.; Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 Criticism and interpretation.; 19th Century; Dickens, Charles
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Dawson Books. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form.


  1. Preface. List of illustrations. References and Abbreviations.
  2. Introduction: Dickens and the Changing Patterns of Popular Entertainment.
  3. Popular Entertainment and Childhood.
  4. Nicholas Nickleby: The Novel as Popular Entertainment.
  5. The Old Curiosity Shop: The Assessment of Popular Entertainment.
  6. Hard Times: The Necessity if Popular Entertainment.
  7. Popular Entertainment in Dickens's Journalism.
  8. Dickens's Public Readings: the Abiding Commitment. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index.

Author note

Paul Schlicke, lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen, brings a lifetime's love of Dickens and many years of research to this book. Its importance will be evident not only to students of literature but to anyone interested in the dynamic social transformation of nineteenth-century England and in the history of popular culture.