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date: 18 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–4) has struggled against negative reactions from general readers and critics from its beginnings as a serial, but numerous advocates for the novel’s value have shown that these negative responses often provide clues to more fruitful and positive approaches. These include especially the scrutiny of the characters and their afterlives, both creative and critical, and the re-evaluation of features thought problematic from a narratological perspective, such as coincidence and an abundance of characters too old or infirm to have a role in the plot. More careful attention to the chronological overlap of Chuzzlewit’s and A Christmas Carol’s composition and publication is another promising avenue for future scholarship.

Keywords: afterlives, caricature, character, labyrinth, narrative, serial publication

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