First published in 1988, this book looks at the enormous impact Dickens’ writings had on American novelists in the second half of the nineteenth century. Dickens dominated not only popular taste but the American novel for sixty years and the author argues that even the most original writers showed themselves again and again to be in ‘conscious sympathy’ with Dickens. Along with Dickens, this book examines four radically different American writers — Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Henry James and Frank Norris — whose debt to Dickens, the author asserts, is nevertheless clearly evident in their work. This book will be of interest to students of literature.
Table of Contents
I. Dickens in America: "The Great Actuality of the Current Imagination" II. Mark Twain: A Personal Case III. Mark Twain: Dickens Comes to Dawson’s Landing IV. Dickens in America: The ‘Finer Art’ V. William Dean Howells: In the Sweet By and By VI. Henry James: The Illustrator’s Point of View VII. Dickens in America: The Return to ‘Romance’ VIII. Frank Norris: The ‘Naturalist’ as Dickensian; Conclusion: Dickens in America; A Selected Bibliography