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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In Pickwick Papers (1836–7), Dickens, planning Gabriel Vardon, The Locksmith of London, a historical, Scott-inspired three-volume novel, learns to write something else: a comic serial and novel. He appropriates thematic materials, and his text is also appropriated by them. Some themes which will always exercise him include hypocrisy and incarceration. He comes under the sway of an energizing city-based poetic language, while drawing on past literature and art: future research could be done on this, the novel’s origins, and the culture which permitted the speed with which it was realized.

Keywords: city-literature, inns, picaresque, injustice, prison-literature, comedy, sports, carnival, interpolated tales

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