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The relationship between the work of Charles Dickens and popular literature has often been noted, but the extent to which his fiction and journalism were rooted in, and continued to respond to, the popular radical culture of his time had so far been unexplored. Sally Ledger traces the influence of Regency radicals, such as William Hone and William Cobbett, and mid-century radical writers, such as Douglas Jerrold and the Chartists Ernest Jones and G. W. M. Reynolds. She offers substantial readings of works from Pickwick to Little Dorrit, arguing that Dickens's populism bridged eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conceptions of the 'popular', the first identified with the political idea of 'the People', the second identified with a mass-market 'populace' that emerged during Dickens's career. Richly illustrated, this study also uncovers the resonance between Dickens's writings and popular graphic art by George Cruikshank, Robert Seymour, C. J. Grant and others.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521845779
ISBN-10: 0521845777
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 314
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 22-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Sally Ledger

Sally Ledger is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at Birkbeck, University of London.

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