The Dickens Index
Oxford University Press, 1988 - 308 pages
Charles Dickens's ability as a storyteller, his keen sense of the outlandish, and his uncanny understanding of human nature give his works a universal and ageless appeal that defies obsolescence. Few other authors have created as many characters and situations that so painstakingly and memorably recreate the social conventions, tastes, manners, and habits of speech of a particular era. This book, the most comprehensive single-volume reference work on Dickens ever produced, provides quick access to an enormous range of information about Dickens's writings and literary career. The Dickens Index consists of over 5000 entries arranged alphabetically and referenced by chapter rather than page number so that they work well with any edition. Thus, the Index can be used either in tandem with a particular work--to check allusions, unfamiliar quotations, obsolete words and slang, and topical, historical, and topographical references--or as an independent guide for looking up characters, both real and fictional, other writers whom Dickens quotes, and institutions to which he refers. But The Dickens Index does much more. It includes:
*Entries on individual works that describe main themes, unique features, and bibliographical details of first publication
*Over 1,400 entries on individual characters that describe the plots in which they function
*Numerous cumulative entries that bring together for the first time Dickens's quotations and allusions (by author and title), his use of such genres as nursery rhyme, and his references to places and institutions
*Full coverage of Dickens's publishers and illustrators
*An illuminating time chart that juxtaposes events in Dickens's personal and professional life with those in the wider world
*An appendix covering Dickens's journalism, listing titles, subject matter, and first publication of those writings not covered in the Index itself.
All Dickens enthusiasts, as well as teachers and students, will find this a handy reference work to accompany their reading, and those engaged in literary or historical research will find it an invaluable and time-saving tool.
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