Dickens: “Dombey and Son”

So long ago now I can’t remember it all, and it took me so long to read. How did they get away with it then? Ah yes – serialisation over months, and that’s how long it took me to read.

Totally immersing, Dickens’ world, Dickens’ London, and believable, although an exaggerated and morally-charged conjuration. The characters are pretty much all cartoon black-and-white goodies or baddies, all except perhaps old man Dombey himself, which I guess is the point, as the drama is his change from baddy to goody. Cleverly Dickens for the most part keeps us out of Dombey’s head, letting events and the results of his arrogant decisions and pompous personality drip drip through, until suddenly, near the end, we are very much moved by the sight of the old man playing with his granddaughter (named after his formerly rejected daughter, whose name I blissfully forget) on the beach. He’s ready, as people on beaches are, for a good death.

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