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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Dickens’s response to the environmental catastrophe brought about by nineteenth-century industrial modernity, focusing on the ways in which his departures from realism might register the arrival of what would become known as the ‘Anthropocene’. It assesses his place in the short history of eco-criticism, and his importance to recent eco-critical scholarship. It also attempts to take stock of the limits of Dickens’s environmental vision, including his occasional celebrations of the utopic promise of industrial technology; his tendency to blur the distinction between the moral and material valences of terms and concepts like ‘pollution’, and ‘corruption’, and his tendency to locate the solution to systemic ecological problems in individual moral behaviour.

Keywords: Dickens, environmental, environment, ecological, ecology, Anthropocene, industrial, pollution, eco-criticism

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