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Research project: Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations: A Publishing and Reception History 1860-2012

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This project aims to provide the fullest account to date of the writing, publishing and global adaptation and reception histories of Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most famous and best-loved novels, across 150 years.

Funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council fellowship award, the project will enable Dr Mary Hammond to complete primary research in several archives in the US and UK and write an illustrated monograph (forthcoming from Ashgate in 2014). The book will combine approaches drawn from literary, adaptation and reception studies and book history in order to investigate the global impact of a novel that was indelibly shaped by the crucible of the Victorian periodical press in which it was created, but continues to have relevance to audiences in a wide variety of media even today.  It thus aims not only to provide the fullest account yet available to students and scholars of this novel's multiple lives and their reception by audiences and critics over a century and a half, but also to shed new light on a range of broader issues. These include the politics of translation and of censorship, the interactive histories of various branches of the global media industries, the ways in which national and other identities are represented (or resisted) through and by cultural artefacts, and the ways in which these representations and appropriations change over time.
The grant will also fund a one-day teacher-training workshop on teaching Dickens as local history (Spring 2013) and several public lectures on Dickens's readers (throughout 2012-13).

Great Expectations
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