Monday, 11 June 2012, 1:00PM
Museum of London

‘This ain’t the shop for justice’: Crime in Dickens’s London

Dr Tony Williams

From his childhood acquaintance with London, when he feared he might become 'a little robber or a little vagabond', Charles Dickens was fascinated by crime. His novels all include criminal activity of some kind as he investigates criminal psychology and the causes of crime. Dickens lived through a period of considerable development in society's treatment of criminals: the foundation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829, the Detective Force in 1842, the same year as the New Model Prison opened at Pentonville; the ending of transportation and of public executions; the word 'penology' was first used in 1838, the year he began to publish Nicholas Nickleby. Dickens engages with these issues very fully, both in his fiction and in his journalism, as this talk will explore.

This is the first lecture as part of the "Literary London Crime" Mondays at One series.

The other lectures in the series include the following:
The Postmodern Detective: Contemporary London Crime Fiction
The Dark Eyes of London

"A Stout Heart in the Great Cesspool": Arthur Conan Doyle and London

dr-tony-williams

Tony Williams taught English in secondary schools from 1969 to 1997 when he took early retirement. From 1999 to 2006 he was Joint General Secretary of The International Dickens Fellowship and a Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. He is Associate Editor of The Dickensian and organises the London programme of events for the Dickens Fellowship, as well as being a frequent speaker on Dickensian topics both in the UK and overseas. He is currently a member of the group planning the programme for the celebrations in 2012 of the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth. He has recently accepted an honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Buckingham to assist with work on Dickens Journals Online.

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11 June 2012

‘This ain’t the shop for justice’: Crime in Dickens’s London
Dr Tony Williams

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