Dorrit’s circulations, Gothic economics

October 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm (Nineteenth-century novel)

Next week’s Dorrit class (on the novel course) will be about ‘circulation’, the circumlocution office not least.  With that in mind, I wanted to flag up Gail Turley Houston’s relatively new monograph, From Dickens to Dracula: Gothic, Economics, and Victorian Fiction (Cambridge Univ. Press 2007), a very interesting account of the cultural and ‘Gothic’ economics of Bagehot, Marx, Dickens, Stephenson and Stoker, with others along the way. Much of the book is free to read on Google books: enough, anyway, to get a flavour of her argument. The chapter on Dorrit (‘”The Whole Duty of Man”: Circulating Circulation in Dickens’s Little Dorrit) is a particularly fascinating attempt to read the novel via the discourses of capital fluidity and banking. It doesn’t sound fascinating, I accept, when I put it like that; but it is.  At least, it gave me a new perspective on the book when I read it. Plus, isn’t this just the coolest cover? I am envious:

(You’re not required to read this for next week’s class, by the way; but you may find it interesting) [AR]


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