Catherine Peters

Amuthement Arcade

The Dickens Dictionary: An A–Z of England’s Greatest Novelist

By

Icon Books 197pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

Charles Dickens and ‘Boz’: The Birth of the Industrial-Age Author

By

Cambridge University Press 426pp £45 order from our bookshop

Charles Dickens’s Networks: Public Transport and the Novel

By

Oxford University Press 272pp £25 order from our bookshop

Three professors, two university presses, three more books to add to the tottering pile. It is time to be scholarly about Dickens. Yet ‘people mutht be amuthed’, as Mr Sleary reiterates in Hard Times. Dickens vehemently believed that readers learn nothing from instruction if they are not first engaged through feeling and humour. So I was relieved to find that John Sutherland’s first entry in The Dickens Dictionary is on ‘Amuthement’ and that his short book is lighthearted, entertaining and, to my mind, the most stimulating of the three under review. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,