Catalogue


Charles Dickens and the image of woman [electronic resource] /
David Holbrook.
imprint
New York : New York University Press, c1993.
description
194 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0814734839 (acid-free paper) :
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : New York University Press, c1993.
isbn
0814734839 (acid-free paper) :
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11401550
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 177-179) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-10:
Holbrook (Downing College, Cambridge) is a prolific writer in many genres, including literary criticism (e.g., Images of Women in Literature, CH, Sep'90). He discusses primarily Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend--without providing a clear rationale for his choices--although he refers to other works, characters, and scenes, such as Sykes's killing of Nancy in Oliver Twist. He comments on the works from the point of view of the findings of psychotherapy and "philosophical anthropology," deducing that many of Dickens's problems in portraying women and their relationships arose from the effects of "the primal scene"--that is, the child's view of parental sex as voracious and dangerous--and of "deprivation at his mother's breast" (Holbrook's italics). Little Dorrit--for Holbrook, a seriously flawed work--and Amy Dorrit exemplify these problems. Holbrook provides occasional insights into his subject but often digresses from "the image of woman," as in the chapter on Great Expectations, and his style is repetitious and wooden. The work as a whole lacks coherence. Advanced undergraduate; graduate. K. A. Robb; emeritus, Bowling Green State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1993
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
How successful is Dickens in his portrayal of women? Dickens has been represented (along with William Blake and D.H. Lawrence) as one who championed the life of the emotions often associated with the feminine. Yet some of his most important heroines are totally submissive and docile. Dickens, of course, had to accept the conventions of his time. It is obvious, argues Holbrook, that Dickens idealized the father-daughter relationship, and indeed, any such relationship that was unsexual, like that of Tom Pinch and his sister-but why? Why, for example, is the image of woman so often associated with death, as in Great Expectations? Dickens's own struggles over relationships with women have been documented, but much less has been said about the unconscious elements behind these problems. Using recent developements in psychoanalytic object-relations theory, David Holbrook offers new insight into the way in which the novels of Dickens-particularly Bleak House, Little Dorrit, and Great Expectations-both uphold emotional needs and at the same time represent the limits of his view of women and that of his time.
Main Description
How successful is Dickens in his portrayal of women? Dickens has been represented (along with William Blake and D.H. Lawrence) as one who championed the life of the emotions often associated with the "feminine." Yet some of his most important heroines are totally submissive and docile. Dickens, of course, had to accept the conventions of his time. It is obvious, argues Holbrook, that Dickens idealized the father-daughter relationship, and indeed, any such relationship that was unsexual, like that of Tom Pinch and his sister_but why? Why, for example, is the image of woman so often associated with death, as in Great Expectations ? Dickens's own struggles over relationships with women have been documented, but much less has been said about the unconscious elements behind these problems. Using recent developements in psychoanalytic object-relations theory, David Holbrook offers new insight into the way in which the novels of Dickens_particularly Bleak House , Little Dorrit , and Great Expectations _both uphold emotional needs and at the same time represent the limits of his view of women and that of his time.
Main Description
How successful is Dickens in his portrayal of women? Dickens has been represented (along with William Blake and D.H. Lawrence) as one who championed the life of the emotions often associated with the "feminine." Yet some of his most important heroines are totally submissive and docile. Dickens, of course, had to accept the conventions of his time. It is obvious, argues Holbrook, that Dickens idealized the father-daughter relationship, and indeed, any such relationship that was unsexual, like that of Tom Pinch and his sister--but why? Why, for example, is the image of woman so often associated with death, as in Great Expectations ? Dickens's own struggles over relationships with women have been documented, but much less has been said about the unconscious elements behind these problems. Using recent developements in psychoanalytic object-relations theory, David Holbrook offers new insight into the way in which the novels of Dickens--particularly Bleak House , Little Dorrit , and Great Expectations --both uphold emotional needs and at the same time represent the limits of his view of women and that of his time.
Main Description
How successful is Dickens in his portrayal of women? Dickens has been represented (along with William Blake and D.H. Lawrence) as one who championed the life of the emotions often associated with the "feminine." Yet some of his most important heroines are totally submissive and docile.Dickens, of course, had to accept the conventions of his time. It is obvious, argues Holbrook, that Dickens idealized the father-daughter relationship, and indeed, any such relationship that was unsexual, like that of Tom Pinch and his sister--but why? Why, for example, is the image of woman so often associated with death, as inGreat Expectations? Dickens's own struggles over relationships with women have been documented, but much less has been said about the unconscious elements behind these problems.Using recent developements in psychoanalytic object-relations theory, David Holbrook offers new insight into the way in which the novels of Dickens--particularlyBleak House,Little Dorrit, andGreat Expectations--both uphold emotional needs and at the same time represent the limits of his view of women and that of his time.
Main Description
In myriad ways, humans have gradually tailored their world to meet immediate material needs. In so doing, we have, in the minds of many, systematically altered a formerly hospitable environment into one more ambiguous in its effect on the human organism. Just as environments have adapted in response to human activity, so too is the human body now, in turn, forced to adapt to these altered conditions. Today, mysterious illnesses, from chronic fatigue to Gulf War Syndrome, meet us at every turn. Yet even as an increasing number of people attribute ailments to environmental problems, the suspected relationships between illness and environment remain unclear. Illness and the Environment examines how sick people and their allies struggle to achieve public recognition of somatic complaints and disabilities that they contend are related to "manufactured environments." The first of its kind, the anthology considers the political, legal, and medical conflicts arising from these illnesses, and will prove invaluable to researchers, scholars, public policy makers, trial attorneys, and activist organizations.
Unpaid Annotation
David Holbrook offers new insight into the novels of Charles Dickens, particularly Bleak House, Little Dorrit, and Great Expectations. In this re-reading of the master novelist, Holbrook examines how Dickens' works address emotional need and represent a limited view of women.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Bleak House: The Dead Baby and the Psychic Inheritancep. 27
Religion, Sin, and Shamep. 55
Little Dorrit, Little Doormatp. 70
At the Heart of the Marshalseap. 83
Great Expectations: A Radical Ambiguity about What One May Expectp. 126
Finding One Another's Reality: Lizzie Hexam and Her Love Story in Our Mutual Friendp. 147
Dickens's Own Relationships with Womenp. 164
Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 181
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem