Charles Dickens's American Audience
From 1837 to 1912, Charles Dickens was by far the most popular writer for American readers. Through several sources including statistics, literary biography, newspapers, memoirs, diaries, letters, and interviews, Robert McParland examines a historical time and an emerging national consciousness that defined the American identity before and after the Civil War. American voices present their views, tastes, emotional reactions and identifications, and deep attachment and love for Dickens's characters, stories, themes, and sensibilities as well as for the man himself. Bringing together contemporary reactions to Dickens and his works, this book paints a portrait of the American people and of American society and culture from 1837 to the turn of the twentieth century. It is in this view of nineteenth-century America_its people and their values, their reading habits and cultural views, the scenarios of their everyday lives even in the face of the drastic changes of the emerging nation_that Charles Dickens's American Audience makes its greatest impact.
- Electronic book text | 252 pages
- 14 Jun 2010
- Lexington Books
- MD, United States
Robert McParland's insightful book provides a fascinating account of Dickens's role in shaping America's social and cultural identity in the nineteenth century. The author interestingly outlines the many ways in which American readers engaged with Dickens's works, and the ways in which Dickens's books influenced American ideologies. McParland supplies a wealth of material to substantiate his arguments in this well-written book.--Katie Halsey, University of Stirling, University of Stirling
About Robert McParland
Robert McParland is associate professor of English and chair of the English Department at Felician College.