Dickens's Clowns: Charles Dickens, Joseph Grimaldi and the Pantomime of Life (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture) (Paperback)

Dickens's Clowns: Charles Dickens, Joseph Grimaldi and the Pantomime of Life (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture) By Jonathan Buckmaster Cover Image

Dickens's Clowns: Charles Dickens, Joseph Grimaldi and the Pantomime of Life (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture) (Paperback)

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Establishes the importance of the popular radical figure of the pantomime clown in the work of Charles Dickens

This book reappraises Dickens's Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi and his imaginative engagement with its principal protagonist. Arguing that the Memoirs should be read as integral to Dickens's wider creative project on the theatricality of everyday existence, Jonathan Buckmaster analyses how Grimaldi's clown stepped into many of Dickens's novels.

Dickens's Clowns presents new readings of Dickens's treatment of topics such as identity, the grotesque and violence within the context of the tropes of the Regency pantomime. This is the first study to identify the Dickensian clown as a unifying force for several Dickensian themes, overturning traditional views of Dickens's clowns as peripheral figures.

Key Features

  • Provides a new reading of one of Dickens's most neglected texts, and firmly re-establishes it within the Dickens canon as both part of a wider project alongside his other major works of the period and an important influence on later work
  • Identifies the pantomime routines of the Regency clown as a key cultural influence on Dickens's work, tracing significant new sources for his comical treatment of violence and his comedy more generally
  • Offers important new perspectives on two other key themes in Dickens's work - the use of food and drink within Dickens's articulation of the bodily grotesque and Dickens's use of clothing as a radical signifier of individual liberty

Jonathan was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham from 2016 to 2018, and a Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway from 2012 to 2015. He was awarded his doctorate for his thesis on Charles Dickens and the pantomime clown in February 2013. His other research interests include Dickens's afterlives in cinema and television, the influence of Dickens's work on Salman Rushdie, and Wilkie Collins. Outside of academia, he has been a Technical Author for nearly twenty years.
Product Details ISBN: 9781474463928
ISBN-10: 1474463924
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication Date: November 10th, 2020
Pages: 232
Language: English
Series: Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture