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The Story of Little Dombey and Other Performance Fictions

The Story of Little Dombey and Other Performance Fictions

Paperback Broadview Anthology of British Literature

By (author) Charles Dickens, Edited by Joseph Black Et Al

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  • Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 120 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 211mm x 13mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 30 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Peterborough
  • ISBN 10: 1554811643
  • ISBN 13: 9781554811649

Product description

It is widely known that Charles Dickens gave public readings of his works, and that those readings were enormously popular. Far less well known are the stories themselves; these were not, as is the modern fashion, taken verbatim from the published novels. Instead, Dickens trimmed, reworded, and re-shaped material from the novels to create stories that would be self-contained artistic entities. These concise "performance fictions," shaped in every way to be accessible to a broad audience, are in many ways an ideal introduction to Dickensâ??s work for the modern reader.Four of the most successful of these short works have been selected for this volume, including "The Story of Little Dombey" (perhaps the most emotionally affecting of all the readings, and described by Dickens as his â??greatest triumph everywhereâ?) and the violent and suspenseful "Sikes and Nancy" (Dickens's overpowering performances of which were said to have contributed to his death). Provided in the contextual materials is a selection of reviews and contemporary descriptions that comment on Dicken's manner of performance and audience reception. A brief excerpt from Dombey and Son is also included, illustrating the extensive revision process that led to "The Story of Little Dombey."

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Review quote

"This outstanding collection of Dickens's public readings includes a helpful introduction, which very usefully places his performance fictions in the context of his personal life and literary career. The introduction and contextual documents contain illuminating material about Dickens's process of editing and revising his novels for his public readings. Of particular interest are the contemporary reviews and descriptions of Dickens's performances, which give readers an exceptional illustration of Dickens as performer."--Sarah Alexander, University of Vermont