Current PhD Students
Changing Representations of Charles Dickens, 1857-1939
Prof. John Bowen
In exploring the shaping of Dickens’s posthumous reputation, this thesis focuses on Dickens’s self-representation in speeches and journalism 1857-1870 to show how his relationship with the public and with biography changed during this period, and analyses life writing 1870-1939 to explore the role of families, friends and societies in creating a lasting image of Dickens in the decades following his death. This research aims to uncover the foundations of public engagement with, and understanding of, Dickens in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, putting biographies and reminiscences in dialogue with theoretical approaches to reception, literary afterlives, celebrity culture and auto/biography.