Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger
Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger
  • The My Reading series offers personal models of what it is like to care about particular authors and works, and to show their effect upon a reader's own thinking and development
  • A personal and subjective response to Dickens by a world-leading expert
  • Spans Dickens's career from 1837 to 1859
  • Explores how Dickens's novels are newly relevant to our own world and to the author's life

A personal approach to Dickens's art that pays attention to what magnetizes Federico or strikes her as newly relevant to our own world, and to her life, as she explores what Dickens' works are emotionally about.
Dickens's first concern in all his fiction is with people's feelings and their imaginations. Everything else—the social criticism, the satire, the comedy—flows from that spring. How does a person begin to imagine, to enter vividly into the life he or she has been given, and into the lives of others? How does someone change, how do they love, give their trust, look forward to the future? These questions make their way into all of Dickens's novels, including the four discussed in this contribution to the My Reading series: Oliver Twist (1837-39), David Copperfield (1849-50), Little Dorrit (1855-57), and A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Consistent with the aims of the series, this book takes a personal approach to Dickens's art. Federico follows her own responses, paying attention to what magnetizes her or strikes her as newly relevant to our own world, and to her life. What is the story emotionally about? This becomes the important question as she reads through Dickens's works. It is the question that opens the door to her own memories, her own stories, as she grows from being an innocent reader of Dickens to a more critical, professionalized one—while still listening confidentially to what Dickens has to teach her about hope, love, and the limits of knowledge.


1:Where is Love?
2:Blessed Little Room
33:The Shadow Fell Like Light
4:But For You, Dear Stranger
Works Cited


Annette Federico, Professor of English, James Madison University
Annette Federico is Professor of English at James Madison University. Her books include Engagements with Close Reading (2016) and Thus I Lived with Words: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Writer's Craft (2017). She has published two edited collections, Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic After Thirty Years (2009) and My Victorian Novel: Critical Essays in the Personal Voice (2020). She lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA.

"... an illuminating perspective on the selected texts-a perspective that incidentally sheds light on how Dickens achieves his intimate and powerful impact." - John Edmondson, Independent Researcher, British Association for Victorian Studies

"... I absolutely loved this book; I think very highly of Dickens anyway, and to see his work explored like this was fascinating... If "But for you…" is any indication, the My Reading series is going to be a winner... If you want a personal, thought-provoking and fascinating look at Dickens and the effect he can have on the reader, this is definitely a book for you!" - Shiny New Books


ISBN : 9780192847348

Annette Federico
192 ページ
142 x 223 mm





Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger

Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger

Charles Dickens: But for you, dear stranger