Show Summary Details

p. 554. City Laureatelocked

  • Jenny Hartley

Abstract

‘City Laureate’ describes Charles Dickens as our first and best novelist of the city. London in the mid-19th century was the supreme modern urban space and Dickens its chronicler. Dickens took the city for his first subject, and was instantly recognized for his skill in skewering what everyone had seen, but nobody else had consciously noted. Dickens saw himself as the presiding spirit of the city. The first to celebrate the experiences of metropolitan living, he was also first to explore its horrors. To redress some of these evils, Dickens looked to practical solutions. He campaigned for sanitary reforms, which would cleanse the city, and supported ragged schools for the poorest children.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.