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2018 Week 4 Course 5

Dickens' Bleak House


Val Dodd


Week 4

22 - 28 July 2018

Henry James famously described Victorian novels as “loose, baggy monsters” Published between 1851 and 1853, Dickens’s ninth novel, “Bleak House”, might be seen to fit James’s description. There are issues regarding its technique; the coincidences of the plot,the dual narrative, the changing tone and prose style, the characterisation, the use of settings. Forster, Dickens’s friend, disliked its didacticism, and the novel has much to say about public issues, such as the legal system, money, class and religion. It also, however, addresses the private realms of relationships and morality and is, arguably, an early example of detective fiction. This course will seek to look at these various aspects of the novel and decide upon the validity of James’s description.





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