The Royal Holloway Victorian MA Blog

Gustave Doré

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Doré today: or more specifically, Doré’s images of London from London: a Pilgrimage (1872). There’s no advance preparation necessary for this evening’s class; we’ll be looking at and reading some of the man’s more famous images. But if you wanted to take it further, there are a couple of interesting resources. W. H. Herendeen’s ‘The Doré Controversy: Doré, Ruskin, and Victorian Taste’ (Victorian Studies, 25: 3 (1982), 305-327) is good on his complex contemporary reputation; though he argues ‘The current view of him as the iconographer of the period is simple-minded and distorts our appreciation of both the artist and the age. The proliferation of reprints of his work and their use as a visual aid in teaching nineteenty-century literature promotes this longstanding and simplistic image of the artist.’ Gulp. Let’s agree not to do that this evening. Gustave Doré by Millicent Rose is very old (1947; reviewed here) but still useful. And Nancy Aycock Metz’s ‘Little Dorrit’s London: Babylon Revisited’, Victorian Studies, 33: 3 (1990), 465-486) links Doré’s representation of London to Dickens’s novel in passing. [AR]

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