Dickens on England and the English

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Dickens on England and the English explores Dickens’s attitudes towards and relationships to his country, drawing on a very wide range of his fiction. It offers an account of his often complex and contradictory views of the people and the country that provided the sources of his imaginary world.

Dickens is the great painter of English manners – and, for better or worse, the images of his country which so vitally emerge from his books have become indelibly part of the national character.

His books reflect the changing England of his time, so often poised between the softly focused Pickwickian idyll and the hard-edged, brutal contemporary world. The England of the 19th century and the England of the English imagination crowd one another in his pages.