The Pleasures of Memory, Part I

Sarah Winter

in The Pleasures of Memory

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233526
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241132 | DOI:
The Pleasures of Memory, Part I

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


Show Summary Details


This chapter examines one of Dickens's most popular serial novels alongside the religious tracts that were a hallmark of Evangelical propagandizing. Even as it shares with Evangelical tracts certain common associationist assumptions about the effects of reading on the memory, The Old Curiosity Shop contests the cultural politics of the larger evangelical movement by subverting the rhetorical and ideological rationales behind didactic fictions, such as Hannah More's Cheap Repository Tracts and Legh Richmond's Annals of the Poor. Shaping an “anti-didactic” strategy for popular fiction, Dickens's moralizing tale about Little Nell's unjust death counteracts the cultural influence of evangelicalism by substituting a benevolent curiosity and activist sensibility in the place of Evangelical fiction's staging of pious deaths to motivate the reader's religious conversion and social deference.

Keywords: Evangelical cultural politics; associative memory; didactic fiction; Hannah More; Legh Richmond; Samuel Rogers; The Old Curiosity Shop; curiosity; epistemology; secularization

Chapter.  14064 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.