Dickenss Villains: Melodrama, Character, Popular Culture

Paperback | February 1, 2003

byJuliet John

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This is the first major study of Dickens's villains. They embody, John argues, the crucial fusion between the 'deviant' and 'theatrical' aspects of his writing. Though there have been many studies of both the macabre and the dramatic Dickens, this book sets up a dialogue between these two mainstrands. John's wider reappraisal of Dickensian character stems from a belief that post-Romantic criticism and theory has been permeated by an anti-theatrical privileging of the mind. Dickens's characters, by contrast, are commonly modelled on passional prototypes from nineteenth-century melodrama.Her- interdisciplinary study locates the rationale for Dickens's melodramatic characters in his political commitment to the principle of cultural inclusivity and his related resistance to 'psychology'. Melodramatic villains function as the key site of Dickens's responses to theatricality,psychology, and cultural inclusiveness. Dickens's Villains suggests a new way of understanding the cultural and political implications of his melodramatic aesthetics

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This is the first major study of Dickens's villains. They embody, John argues, the crucial fusion between the 'deviant' and 'theatrical' aspects of his writing. Though there have been many studies of both the macabre and the dramatic Dickens, this book sets up a dialogue between these two mainstrands. John's wider reappraisal of Dicken...

Juliet John is at University of Salford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.58 inPublished:February 1, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199261377

ISBN - 13:9780199261376

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Table of Contents

Note on the textAbbreviationsIntroductionI: Melodrama, Villainy, Acting1. Intellectual Incorrectness: Melodrama, Populism, Cultural Hierarchies2. The Villains of Stage Melodrama: Romanticism and the Politics of Character3. Acting and Ambivalence: Periodical PassionsII: Dickens's Novels4. Melodramatic Poetics and the Gothic Villain: Interiority, Deviance, Emotion5. Twisting the Newgate Tale: Popular Culture, Pleasure and the Politics of Genre6. Dickens and Dandyism: Masking Interiority7. Byronic Baddies, Melodramatic Anxieties8. Sincerely Deviant WomenAfterwordBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`shrewd ... The strength of John's approach lies in her capacity to see the point of Dickens's anti-intellectualism without for a moment compromising her own scholarly rigour.'Dinah Birch, Times Literary Supplement, 4 May 2001