Classics Archive - Classic Books Online
     Home  |   Search  |   Download eBooks  |   FAQs  |   Contact  |   Resources
 

The Puzzle of Dickenss Last Plot - Andrew Lang

Download: The Puzzle of Dickenss Last Plot - Andrew Lang


First Page | Previous Page | Page 1 of 56 | Next Page | Last Page


The Puzzle of Dickens's Last Plot by Andrew Lang

INTRODUCTION



FORSTER tells us that Dickens, in his later novels, from BLEAK HOUSE 
onwards (1853), "assiduously cultivated" construction, "this essential 
of his art."  Some critics may think, that since so many of the best 
novels in the world "have no outline, or, if they have an outline, it 
is a demned outline," elaborate construction is not absolutely 
"essential."  Really essential are character, "atmosphere," humour.

But as, in the natural changes of life, and under the strain of 
restless and unsatisfied activity, his old buoyancy and unequalled 
high spirits deserted Dickens, he certainly wrote no longer in what 
Scott, speaking of himself, calls the manner of "hab nab at a 
venture."  He constructed elaborate plots, rich in secrets and 
surprises.  He emulated the manner of Wilkie Collins, or even of 
Gaboriau, while he combined with some of the elements of the detective 
novel, or ROMAN POLICIER, careful study of character.  Except GREAT 
EXPECTATIONS, none of his later tales rivals in merit his early 
picaresque stories of the road, such as PICKWICK and NICHOLAS 
NICKLEBY.  "Youth will be served;" no sedulous care could compensate 
for the exuberance of "the first sprightly runnings."  In the early 
books the melodrama of the plot, the secrets of Ralph Nickleby, of 
First Page | Previous Page | Page 1 of 56 | Next Page | Last Page