University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

“Dickens in the City: Science, Technology, Ecology in the Novels of Charles Dickens”

Parham, John (2010) “Dickens in the City: Science, Technology, Ecology in the Novels of Charles Dickens”. 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 10.

Dickens_in_the_City.pdf - Published Version

Download (286kB) | Preview


This article addresses the obscuring of Dickens’s interest in contemporary science. It argues that Dickens was acquainted with those scientific developments – evolutionary biology and energy physics – that would converge, in the nineteenth century, to form ecological science. Arguing that Dickens then applied his interest in science, and his own conception of a ‘poetic science’ towards an analysis of society, the paper considers his examination of industry, technology, and the physical shape that these bequeathed to the Victorian city in the light of contemporary social ecology. The article ends by arguing that Dickens’s double-edged understanding of technology and the city allows us to understand his writing as an example of what John Clark has called a ‘social ecology of the imagination’ and, more generally, of a reconstructive quality shared with social ecology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Charles Dickens, science, technology, ecology
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Depositing User: John Parham
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2012 15:18
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.