“What is so good about Dickens’ novels?” asks John Mullan – and then proceeds to answer in thirteen essays of exquisite prose. From Dickens’ evocation of the senses, particularly taste and smell, to his inventiveness with names; from the melodrama of Little Dorrit to the high-mindedness of Hard Times, Mullan’s Dickens emerges as a shapeshifter and conjuror extraordinaire. Whether you know your Twist from your Copperfield, or you’re a complete Dickens newbie, The Artful Dickens is a riveting read and brings a welcome focus to one of the English language’s greatest minds.
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John Mullan is Professor of English at University College, London. He is the author of How Novels Work and Sentiment and Socialbility: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century. He has published widely on eighteenth and nineteenth century literature. A broadcaster and journalist as well as an academic, he writes a weekly column on contemporary fiction for the Guardian.
Linda Jaivin has been studying Chinese politics, language and culture for more than forty years. She has been a foreign correspondent in China, and is co-editor of the China Story Yearbook, an associate of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University and the author of twelve books.