Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves by Malcolm Andrews
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Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves
By Malcolm Andrews

Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves

Dickens and the Public Readings

By (author) See other recent books by Malcolm Andrews
Format: Paperback

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Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves by Malcolm Andrews

Book Description

Charles Dickens had three professional careers: novelist, journalist and public Reader. That third career has seldom been given the serious attention it deserved. For the last 12 years of his life he toured Britain and America giving 2-hour readings from his work to audiences of over two thousand. These readings were highly dramatic performances in which Dickens's great gift for mimicry enabled him to represent the looks and voices of his characters, to the point where audiences forgot they were watching Charles Dickens. His novels came alive on the platform: at the end of a reading, it seemed to many that a whole society had broken up rather than that a solitary recitalist had concluded. This book tries to recreate, in greater detail than hitherto, the sense of how those readings were performed and how they were received, how Dickens devised his stage set and tailored his books to make them into performance scripts, how he conducted his reading tours all around the country and developed a quite extraordinary rapport with his listeners. No single study of this late career of Dickens has drawn to such an extent on contemporary witnesses to the readings as well as tried to assess in some depth the significance of what Dickens called 'this new expression of the meaning of my books'. 'I shall tear myself to pieces', he said as he waited eagerly to go on stage for his performance, and that is ironically what he did, in ways he perhaps had not quite intended: he fractured into dozens of different characters up there on the platform, and as he thus tore himself to pieces his health collapsed irretrievably under the pressures he put upon himself to achieve these masterly illusions.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199236206
ISBN-10: 0199236208
Format: Paperback
(215mm x 138mm x 18mm)
Pages: 348
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 29-Nov-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Malcolm Andrews

Dickensian Laughter by Malcolm Andrews Dickensian Laughter, Paperback (June 2016)

How does Dickens make his readers laugh? What is the distinctive character of Dickensian humour? Malcolm Andrews explores these questions in a fascinating study of a neglected area of Dickens studies.

Hardmen by Malcolm Andrews Hardmen, Paperback (August 2012)

From those who played on with broken legs to the fast and furious high impact of today, meet 52 of Rugby League's roughest, toughest and most courageous players.

Hubert Who? by Malcolm Andrews Hubert Who?, Paperback (September 2011)

Explorer, pioneer aviator, war photographer, naturalist, meteorologist, author, student of the paranormal, and secret agent; loyal lieutenant to Shackleton, Bean and Hearst; the last man from the West to meet with Lenin ... Sir Hubert Wilkins lived many lives - all of them exciting and fantastic.

Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves by Malcolm Andrews Charles Dickens and His Performing Selves, Hardback (October 2006)

Charles Dickens's public readings have not had the attention they deserve, and yet Dickens put as much effort into perfecting his performances as he did with his novels. These performances were sensational events and won Dickens thousands of new admirers. This book talks about these performances.

» View all books by Malcolm Andrews


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Author Biography - Malcolm Andrews

Malcom Andrews is Professor of Victorian and Visual Studies, School of English, Kent University

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