Fall 1983 • Vol. V No. 4 Book Reviews |

Books in Review: Dickens and Women

Dickens and Women by Michael Slater. Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press, 1983. xii + 465 pages. $28.50 Charles Dickens did not understand women: this accusation has been levelled from his day to our own. For the most part, the women in his novels are rigidly one dimensional, while the women in his life---insofar as we can discern them behind the giant shadow of The Inimitable himself---teem with suggestive vitality. In Dickens and Women, Michael Slater attempts to bring the complex variety of Dickens's life to bear on the seeming stereotypes of his fiction. Slater moves from biography to literary criticism, claiming to defend Dickens's fictional treatment of women through a deeper understanding of his experience. For the most part, this well-intentioned defense is a readable failure. Slater's perspective suffers from the same imbalance as his subject's: the book is steeped in Dickens as man and artist, but it is cavalierly ill-informed about the other half of its subject,

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Victorian Realities

By Nina Auerbach

Dickens and Women by Michael Slater. Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press, 1983. xii + 465 pages. $28.50 Charles Dickens did not understand women: this accusation has been levelled from his […]

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