Join us at the library for a book talk with Joel Brattin, Professor of English at WPI. Professor Brattin will discuss the book Dickens and Massachusetts: The Lasting Legacy of the Commonwealth Visits (edited by Joel Brattin and Diana Archibald, University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).
Charles Dickens traveled to North America twice, in 1842 and twenty-five years later in 1867–68, and on both trips Massachusetts was part of his itinerary. Although many aspects of his U.S. travels disappointed him, Massachusetts was the one state that met and even exceeded Dickens's expectations for "the republic of [his] imagination." From the mills of Lowell to the Perkins School for the Blind, it offered an alternate vision of America that influenced his future writings, while the deep and lasting friendships he formed with Bostonians gave him enduring ties to the commonwealth. This volume provides insight from leading scholars who have begun to reassess the significance of Massachusetts in the author's life and work.
"This book fills an important gap in our understanding of Dickens’s first trip to America. Authored by some of the most highly respected scholars in Dickens studies and including thorough and authoritative research, this volume makes a timely and original contribution.”—Nancy Aycock Metz, author of The Companion to Martin Chuzzlewit