For students at the University of Cagliari who attended my classes this week, here are some images and further reading that I referred to.
These two images are watercolours of the Great Exhibition by Henry Clarke Pidgeon, that I have written more about here:
You can read a contemporary response to the Great Exhibition here, and the full text of Dickens’s “The Last Words of the Old Year” (quoted on the handout) can be read online here. I have also written about the ideas of “people and things” at the Exhibition in the context of Henry Mayhew’s novel 1851 and Bleak House.
This image of the London slums is taken from this website on Victorian London where you can find some more contemporary writing about the slums and related issues.
Dickens’s writing on the Niger expedition is discussed in the book by Tim Carens cited on the handout, plus a number of others including Grace Moore’s Dickens and Empire (2004).
Finally, this podcast that I recorded for the University of Warwick’s Celebrating Dickens project is of relevance to some of the issues raised, and on the Celebrating Dickens website you will find many other podcasts and videos of interest to Charles Dickens’s life and times.