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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dickens’s reading knowledge was vast, and serves as a testament to how effectively he digested and recalled a range of material that could be used in his various forms of output, including fiction, journalism, letters, and speeches. His primary influences stemmed from childhood reading: nursery stories, fairy tales, and the Bible. To these he added more standardized reading acquired at school, including the classics, and, from the age of 18, a systematic programme of reading, including the works of Shakespeare, that was consciously undertaken in order to make the transition to a professional writing career. Other major influences include the eighteenth-century poets, novelists, and essayists, the Romantic poets, and early nineteenth-century novelists and poets. He was intimately familiar with the literary trends of his own day in poetry and fiction, as well as in such diverse fields as history, geography, travel, science, and industry.

Keywords: library, reading, intertextuality, influences, nursery stories, fairy tales, Bible, Book of Common Prayer, Shakespeare

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