1st Edition

Going Astray
Dickens and London

ISBN 9781405899871
Published October 12, 2008 by Routledge
376 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

‘Among the numerous books on Dickens’s London, Going Astray is unique in combining detailed topography and biography with close textual analysis and theoretically informed critiques of most of the novelist’s major works. In Jeremy Tambling’s intriguing and illuminating synthesis, the London A-Z meets Nietzsche, Benjamin and Derrida.’ Rick Allen, author of The Moving Pageant: A Literary Sourcebook on London Street-Life, 1700-1914

Dickens wrote so insistently about London – its streets, its people, its unknown areas – that certain parts of the city are forever haunted by him. Going Astray: Dickens and London looks at the novelist’s delight in losing the self in the labyrinthine city and maps that interest, onto the compulsion to ‘go astray’ in writing.

Drawing on all Dickens’ published writings (including the journalism but concentrating on the novels), Jeremy Tambling considers the author’s kaleidoscopic characterisations of London: as prison and as legal centre; as the heart of empire and of traumatic memory; as the place of the uncanny; as an old curiosity shop. His study examines the relations between narrative and the city, and explores how the metropolis encapsulates the problems of modernity for Dickens – as well as suggesting the limits of representation.

Combining contemporary literary and cultural theory with historical maps, photographs and contextual detail, Jeremy Tambling’s book is an indispensable guide to Dickens, nineteenth- century literature, and the city itself. 

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction: Dickens and London  Chapter Two: Dickens London, Allegory  Chapter Three: Mapping the City: Oliver Twist  Chapter Four: Tales from Master Humphrey’s Clock  Chapter Five: Camden Town: The Railway in Dombey and Son  Chapter Six: David Copperfield  Chapter Seven: Bleak House: London Before the Law  Chapter Eight: London and Taboo: Little Dorrit   Chapter Nine: Traumatic London: Great Expectations  Chapter Ten: ‘The Scene of My Death’: The River in Our Mutual Friend Chapter Eleven: ‘City Full of Dreams’: The Uncommercial Traveller  Chapter Twelve: Dickens’s London: Dickens and Gissing  Notes  Dickens’s London: A Gazetteer

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