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Extra resources for Charles Dickens: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : 19th Century Novelists)
Dickens’s contemporaries hada keener, simpler relish for ‘characters’; they enjoyed the humour and felt little compulsion to explain or justify this delight; many of them responded to the pathos much more uninhibitedly than we do. They were not unaware of his ‘imaginative’ qualities, but were less concerned with symbolism, allegory, and myth than current critics are. Nor were they so consciously concerned with verbal texture; indeed, most of the comments on his style in the selections below are adverse, though many critics were content to discuss his works with little or no reference to stylistic qualities.
34 Graphic, 13 June 1870, 674. Frederic G. Kitton attributes this item to Arthur Locker, on whom see below, p. 40 (Kitton, Charles Dickens by Pen and Pencil, 1890, p. 173). 35 DNB, xv, 30. 36 Bennett to George Sturt, 6 February 1898 (Letters of Arnold Bennett, ed. James Hepburn (Oxford 1968), ii, 104); Bennett’s dots. In other letters Bennett notes that he is put off by Dickens’s ‘absolute lack of verbal beauty’, and that one thing ‘you will never get in my fiction, or in any first-rate modern fiction [is] the Dickens or Thackeray grossness’ (ibid, 157, 175).
Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (vol. i, 1891, and subsequent supplements) contains short and scrappy entries on Dickens; more useful early bibliographies are John P. Anderson’s (1887) and Wilhelm Dibelius’s (1916). An extensive selection of critical comments is reprinted by J. A. Hammerton (1910), and a smaller collection by Mabell S. C. Smith (also 1910). By far the most comprehensive reprinting of Victorian discussions of Dickens, however, is in the Dickensian (1905– continuing). , and many check-lists of discussions of individual novels (Edwin Drood being a particular favourite here).
Charles Dickens: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : 19th Century Novelists) by Philip Collins