We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > English home > Information for current students > Undergraduate > EN3515 Special Author: Charles Dickens
More in this section ReadingLists

EN3515 Special Author: Charles Dickens

Summer Reading List 2016-17

Course tutor: Professor Juliet John

Please read as much as you can over the Summer as Dickens’s books are very long and you will find it hard to cope in term time. We will be covering the texts in  the order listed below once term starts. Try to read novels in the Oxford World’s Classics or Penguin Classics editions as the cheaper editions can omit important prefaces, illustrations, etc. ‘The Signalman’ is available as an e-text. Dickens’s journalism is available online via the Dickens Journals Online website (http://www.djo.org.uk/) and Michael Slater’s Dent edition of the journalism is also excellent, including useful contextual information. The Letters are available in various editions or online but a handout will be supplied. Enjoy!

Term 1

  • Sketches by Boz (1836),
  • Barnaby Rudge (1841)
  • A Christmas Carol (1843)
  • David Copperfield (1848)
  • Selected Journalism: including ‘The Amusements of the People’ (1850), selected ‘Night Walks’ (1861)

Term 2

  • Bleak House (1852-3)
  • Little Dorrit (1855-7)
  • Great Expectations (1861)
  • ‘The Signalman’ (1866)
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)
  • selected Letters

Secondary Reading

I would advise you to prioritise primary reading over the Summer so that you can cope with the pace of reading during term time. If you do want to pursue any secondary reading , however, Oxford Bibliographies: Victorian Literature is the best place to start for a selected, annotated bibliography of the vast field of Dickens studies. Also find below a selection of works that you may find useful. In addition to the list below, you may be given supplementary suggestions for reading in lectures. You are also encouraged to pursue your own interests, browsing the library catalogue yourself and not limiting yourself to what is listed. It you wish to explore a particular subject in greater detail you should follow up footnotes and bibliographies in the works cited, consult the MLA bibliography, JSTOR, etc.  The main Dickens journals are the Dickens Studies Annual, the Dickens Quarterly and The Dickensian and articles on Dickens routinely appear in journals such as the Journal of Victorian Culture, Victorian Studies and Nineteenth-Century Literature

  • Peter Ackroyd, Dickens (Guild, 1990)
  • Malcolm Andrews, Dickens and the Grown-Up Child (Macmillan, 1994) 
  • Jonathan Arac, ‘Hamlet, Little Dorrit, and the History of Character’, in Critical Conditions: Regarding the Historical Moment, ed. by Michael Hays (University of Minnesota Press, 1992), pp. 82-96 
  • Barbara Black, ‘A Sisterhood of Rage and Beauty: Dickens’s Rosa Dartle, Miss Wade, and Madame   Defarge’, Dickens Studies Annual, 26 (1998), 91-106
  • Rosemarie Bodenheimer, Knowing Dickens (Ithaca: CornellUniversity Press, 2007) 
  • John Bowen, Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit (OxfordUniversity Press, 2000)
  • John Bowen and Robert L. Patten (eds.), Palgrave Advances in Charles Dickens Studies (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)
  • Patrick Brantlinger, ‘Did Dickens Have a Philosophy of History? The Case of Barnaby Rudge’, Dickens Studies Annual, 30 (2001), 59-74
  • John Butt and Kathleen Tillotson, Dickens at Work (Methuen, 1957)
  • John Carey, ‘Dickens and the Mask’, Studies in English Literature, 59 (1983), 3-18
  • John Carey, The Violent Effigy: A Study of Dickens’ Imagination (Faber & Faber, 1973)
  • G.K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens (Dent, 1911)
  • Kathryn Chittick, Dickens and the 1830s (Cambridge University Press, 1990)
  • Jay Clayton, Dickens in Cyberspace: The Afterlife of the Nineteenth Century In Postmodern Culture (Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 2003)
  • Camille Colatosti, ‘Male versus Female Self-denial: The Subversive Potential of the Feminine Ideal in the Fiction of Charles Dickens’, Dickens Studies Annual, 19 (1990), 1-24
  • Philip Collins, Dickens and Crime (Macmillan, 1965)
  • Philip Collins, ed., Dickens: The Critical Heritage (Routledge, 1995)
  • Steven Connor, Charles Dickens: A Longman Critical Reader (Longman, 1996)

  • Steven Connor, ‘ “They’re All in One Story” ’: Public and Private Narratives in Oliver Twist’, Dickensian, 91 (1995), 127-30
  • Earle Davis, The Flint and the Flame: The Artistry of Charles Dickens (Gollancz, 1964)
  • James A. Davies, The Textual Life of Dickens’s Characters (Macmillan, 1989)
  • John M. L. Drew, Dickens the Journalist (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • Edwin M. Eigner, The Dickens Pantomime (University of California Press, 1989)
  • Sergei Eisenstein, ‘Dickens, Griffith and Ourselves’ (1942), Selected Works, ed. by Richard Taylor and William Powell, 4 vols (London: British Film Institute, 1996), III, 193-212
  • T.S. Eliot, ‘Wilkie Collins and Dickens’ (1929), in Selected Essays (Faber & Faber, 1965), pp. 460-70
  • Kate Flint, Dickens (Harvester, 1986)
  • George H. Ford, Dickens and his Readers: Aspects of Novel-Criticism since 1836 (Princeton University Press, 1955)
  • E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel (Penguin/Pelican, 1962)
  • Holly Furneaux, Queer Dickens (OxfordUniversity Press, 2009)
  • Robert Garis, The Dickens Theatre: A Reassessment of the Novels (Clarendon Press, 1965)
  • Robin Gilmour, The Idea of the Gentleman in the Victorian Novel (Allen & Unwin, 1981)
  • George Gissing, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study (Gresham, 1903)
  • Glavin, John, ‘Politics and Barnaby Rudge: Surrogation, Restoration and Revival’, Dickens Studies Annual, 30 (2001), 95-112
  • Elaine Hadley, Melodramatic Tactics: Theatricalized Dissent in the English Marketplace, 1800-1885 (Stanford University Press, 1995)
  • Keith Hollingsworth, The Newgate Novel, 1830-1847: Bulwer, Ainsworth, Dickens, and Thackeray (Wayne State University |Press, 1963)
  • Humphry House, ‘The Macabre Dickens’, in All in Due Time: The Collected Essays and Broadcast talks of Humphry House (Hart-Davis, 1955), pp. 183-89
  • Patricia Ingham, Dickens, Women and Language (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992)
  • Juliet John (ed.), Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Literary Sourcebook (Routledge, 2006) 
  • Juliet John, ‘Dickens and Hamlet’, in Victorian Shakespeare: Volume 2, Literature and Culture, ed. by Gail Marshall and Adrian Poole, 2 vols (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), II, 46-60
  • Juliet John, Dickens and Mass Culture (Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 2010)
  • Juliet John (ed.), Dickens and Modernity, Essays and Studies, 65 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2012)
  • Juliet John, Dickens’s Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
  • Fred Kaplan, Dickens and Mesmerism: The Hidden Springs of Fiction (Princeton U.P., 1955)
  • James R. Kincaid, Dickens and the Rhetoric of Laughter (Clarendon Press, 1971)
  • John Kucich, ‘Dickens’ in The Columbia History of the British Novel, ed. by John Richetti (Columbia University Press, 1994), pp. 381-40
  • John Kucich,Repression in Victorian Fiction: Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens (University of California Press, 1987)
  • John Kucich, Excess and Restraint in the Novels of Charles Dickens (University of Georgia Press, 1981)
  • F. R. Leavis, The Great Tradition (Penguin/Peregrine, 1962)
  • F.R. & Q.D. Leavis, Dickens the Novelist (Chatto & Windus, 1970)
  • Joseph Litvak, ‘Bad Scene: Oliver Twist and the Pathology of Entertainment’, Dickens Studies Annual, 26 (1998), 33-49
  • Carol Hanbery MacKay, ed., Dramatic Dickens (Macmillan, 1989)
  • Natalie McKnight, Idiots, Madmen and Other Prisoners in Dickens (Macmillan, 1993)
  • Steven Marcus, Dickens: From Pickwick to Dombey (Chatto & Windus, 1965)
  • D.A. Miller, The Novel and the Police (University of California Press, 1988)
  • J. Hillis Miller, Charles Dickens: The World of his Novels (Harvard University Press, 1958)
  • J. Hillis Miller, ‘J. Hillis Miller on the Fiction of Realism’, in Realism, ed. by Lilian R. Furst (Longman, 1992),   pp. 287-318
  • Grace Moore, Dickens and Empire: Discourses of Class, Race and Colonialism in the Works of Charles Dickens (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004)
  • Pam Morris, Dickens’s Class Consciousness  (Macmillan, 1991)
  • George Orwell, ‘Charles Dickens’, in Inside the Whale, and Other Essays (Penguin, 1988)
  • Paroissien, David (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Dickens (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)
  • Laura Peters, ‘The History of Two Self-Tormentors: Orphans and Power in Little Dorrit’, Dickensian, 91 (1995), 187-97
  • Catherine Robson, ‘Historicizing Dickens’, in John Bowen and Robert L.Patten(eds.), Palgrave Advances in Charles Dickens Studies (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 234-54
  • Brian Rosenberg, Little Dorrit’s Shadows: Character and Contradiction in Dickens (University of Missouri Press, 1996)
  • John Schad, ed., Dickens Refigured: Bodies, Desires and Other Histories (Manchester University Press, 1996)
  • Paul Schlicke, Dickens and Popular Entertainment (Allen & Unwin, 1985)
  • Paul Schlicke, The Oxford Reader’s Companion to Dickens (Oxford University Press, 1999)
  • Michael Slater, Dickens and Women (Dent, 1983)
  • Grahame Smith, Dickens and the Dream of Cinema (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)
  • Harry Stone, Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Novel-Making (Macmillan, 1980)
  • Harvey Sucksmith, ‘The Melodramatic Villain in Little Dorrit’, Dickensian, 71 (1975), 76-83
  • Harvey Sucksmith, The Narrative Art of Charles Dickens
  • Jeremy Tambling, Dickens, Violence and the Modern State: Dreams of the Scaffold (Macmillan, 1995)
  • Claire Tomalin, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens (Penguin, 1991)
  • Robert Tracy, ‘ “The Old Story” and Inside Stories: Modish Stories and Fictional Modes in Oliver Twist’, Dickens Studies Annual, 17 (1988), 1-33
  • Deborah Vlock, Dickens, Novel Reading and the Victorian Popular Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • Catherine Waters, Commodity Culture in Dickens’s ‘Household Words’: The Social Life of Goods (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008)
  • Catherine Waters, Dickens and the Politics of the Family (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • Angus Wilson, The World of Charles Dickens (Secker & Warburg, 1970)
  • Edmund Wilson, ‘Dickens: The Two Scrooges’, in The Wound and the Bow: Seven Studies in Literature (Riverside Press, 1941)

Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback