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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter relates Dickens’s career and fiction to contemporary monetary issues and political economy. Criticism in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries has revealed affinities between mainstream political economists and Dickens, who subscribed to bourgeois ideology by embracing self-help. Dickens was not only a participant in capitalism but an astute observer of its characteristics. In his career as professional author, he took advantage of the credit economy in subtle ways. Further, his fiction reveals an awareness that literature and the economy both revolve around acts of representation and interpretation; his treatment of gender and sexuality, for instance, draws upon and develops though economic metaphors. The chapter interconnects the methodology of economics to Dickens’s fiction in its final section and suggests that both the political economists and Dickens valorize uncertainty.

Keywords: political economy, economics, money, capitalism, bourgeois ideology, credit economy, self-help, uncertainty

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