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Charles Dickens, self-made Victorian sensation
by John Mullan
About this EXP
John Mullan, Professor of English at University College London, discusses how Charles Dickens has become synonymous with Victorian England.
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Key point 1
More than any other great figure of English literature, Dickens was a self-made man who came from nowhere. As a child, he lived on the edge of poverty and had barely two years of schooling.
Key point 2
One of Dickens’s gifts is connecting the stories of the rich and poor, as if he’s showing his readers things they might otherwise have been able to ignore.
Key point 3
Dickens made his readers feel that they cared about their fellow human beings and were alert to the costs of affluence and progress.
Other EXPs by John Mullan
Jane Austen, an unlikely genius
The 18th century novel: commercial and cultural buzz