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'Something strangely mixed': a study of the comic modes of Charles Dickens

Johnson, Clive (2012) 'Something strangely mixed': a study of the comic modes of Charles Dickens. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94444) (KAR id:94444)

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This thesis asserts the importance of Dickensian comic modes. It engages with academic discourse and popular culture which between them have formulated a serious, socially engaged and psychologically dramatic Dickens in which comedy is muted. It examines the nature of Dickens's comedy and his debt to traditions of comic writing. It attempts to construct an understanding of Dickens in which comic modes are as vital as the dramatic to our understanding of Dickens's methods, themes and purposes. It adopts an inclusive approach to methodology in recognition of the wide-ranging nature of Dickensian comedy, deploying theorisations of the comic in the context of a Marxist approach to nineteenth-century modernity. It asserts the importance of the tradition of comic quixotic fiction in which Dickens can be seen to have written. It demonstrates that Dickens developed an individual response to the nature of emergent modernity that can be distinguished by contrast with other theorisations of the comic from the period. It examines distinctive Dickensian comic formulations of comic characterisation and the equally distinctive nature of Dickensian comic language and satire.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cregan-Reid, Vybarr
Thesis advisor: Waters, Catherine
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94444
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 15:22 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 15:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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