1st ed. - New York : Fordham University Press, 2011.
Book — 1 online resource
Dickens and the pleasures of memory
Memory's bonds: associationism and the freedom of thought
Dickens's originality: serial fiction, celebrity, and The Pickwick Papers
The pleasures of memory, part I: curiosity as didacticism in The Old Curiosity Shop
The pleasures of memory, part II: epitaphic reading and cultural memory
Learning by heart in Our Mutual Friend
Dickens's laughter: school reading and democratic literature, 1870-1940.
What are the sources of the commonly held presumption that reading literature should make people more just, humane, and sophisticated? Rendering literary history responsive to the cultural histories of reading, publishing, and education, The Pleasures of Memory illuminates the ways in which Dickens's serial fiction shaped not only the popular practice of reading for pleasure and instruction but also the school subject we now know as "English." Winter shows how Dickens's serial fiction instigated specific reading practices by reworking the conventions of religious didactic tracts from which most Victorians learned to read. Incorporating an influential associationist psychology of learning founded on the cumulative functioning of memory, Dickens's serial novels consistently led readers to reflect on their reading as a form of shared experience. Dickens's celebrity authorship, Winter argues, represented both a successful marketing program for popular fiction and a cultural politics addressed to a politically unaffiliated, social-activist Victorian readership. As late-nineteenth century educational reforms consolidated British and American readers into "mass" populations served by state school systems, Dickens's beloved novels came to embody the socially inclusive and humanizing goals of democratic education. (source: Nielsen Book Data)