Dickens and other Victorians: Essays in Honour of Philip by Joanne Shattock

By Joanne Shattock

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54. 10. See 'Tales', III, pp. 325-6. 11. 'Tales', VII, p. 394. 36 Sylvere Monod 12. 13. 14. IS. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 2S. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 3S. S. J. Newman, Dickens at Play (London: Macmillan, 1981) pp. 28-9. S. Monod, The Literary Review, vol. 2, no. 39 (August 1981) p. 22. 'Scenes', XVI, p. 138. 'Tales', II, p. 317. 'Tales', VII, p. 382. , p. 393. , p. 397. 'Tales', XI, p. 467. 'Tales', X, ii, p. 446. 'Tales', XI, p. 479. , p. 47S. , p. 481. , p. 482. 'Scenes', XI.

The play was performed again in London on 11, 18 and 25 July 1857 and was then revived, with a significantly changed cast, for three charity performances at Manchester. What Dickens does not mention in his Preface is that at some point in that Spring he almost certainly got wind of the plot of the Irish dramatist Watts Phillips's as yet unperformed play, The Dead Heart, a plot which bears certain striking similarities to that of A Tale of Two Cities. 2 Given his likely knowledge of this French Revolutionary drama, in which characters exchange places before an execution, it would seem probable that the 'main idea' of the prospective novel came to Dickens either during the July performances of The Frozen Deep, or, yet more probably, during the Manchester performances in August 1857.

Ann Wilkinson points out how the death of Krook in Bleak House is partly based on ideas Dickens had come across through the lectures Faraday developed into A Chemical History of a Candle (see Ann Y. Wilkinso,n, 'Bleak House: from Faraday to Judgment Day', ELH, 12 (1967) 225-47). This excellent and imaginative use of contemporary physics to read Bleak House is a model of the sort of analysis I am attempting to use here. Much that Wilkinson says about Bleak House applies equally well to Little Dorrit.

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