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Essential Dickens (part ii): Great Expectations

The livingroom Percy Road, London

It is in David Copperfield and Great Expectations that Dickens creates some of the characters and scenes that have transcended the novels themselves and attained mythic status: Magwitch’s first appearance in the graveyard, Miss Havisham’s decaying wedding cake, the odious Uriah Heep, the brutal Murdstone, the moodswings of Micawber. It is also in David Copperfield that Dickens confronts his most painful childhood […]

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The Woman in White

The Victorians couldn’t get enough of Wilkie Collins’s novel, The Woman in White. It sold out within weeks and inspired a sales mania: Woman in White bonnets and cloaks became the rage and Walter a fashionable name for baby boys. It’s not hard to explain the novel’s popularity: it’s a rollicking potboiler full of dramatic […]

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‘I, Lucy Snowe’: Villette

Villette, Charlotte Bronte's last novel, is an uncompromising depiction of the effects of repressed passion on the psyche of its  icy yet gusty awkward narrator-governess, Lucy Snowe. We will delve deep into the novels’ key themes, consider aspects of style and explore the way it approaches issues about the place of women in mid-Victorian society. […]

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