Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine, and Political Economy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Mangham

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198850038

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198850038.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

‘Nothink and Starwation’

Chapter:
(p.146) 4 Charles Dickens
Source:
The Science of Starving in Victorian Literature, Medicine, and Political Economy
Author(s):

Andrew Mangham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198850038.003.0005

This chapter illustrates how Charles Dickens found the materiality of starvation a powerful method for addressing the social injustices that angered him. Less balanced than Gaskell and less conflicted than Kingsley, he pulled no punches when it came to the ‘Parrots of Society’—those subscribers to hypocritical, dogmatic interpretations of political economy whose efforts to deal with social problems became, he believed, abortive subscriptions to a malicious laissez faire. The chapter argues that we need to understand these red-hot polemics as a response to, and an appropriation of, the scientific registers of men like Thomas Southwood Smith. What Dickens found in science was a materialism that allowed his challenges to the shallow cant of reformers and politicians to morph into an attack on their perceived stupidity: Dickens was able to use the science of starving as a means of grounding a radical position within a thoughtful materialist one.

Keywords:   Social satire, poverty, London, politics, radicalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .