Dickens and the Virtual City

Urban Perception and the Production of Social Space

  • Estelle Murail
  • Sara Thornton

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Counter-Mapping: The New Information Maps of Dickens

  4. Overlaying and Ghosting: London as America, Africa, Arctic, India

  5. Troping: Sensing the City and the Acts of Reading and Writing

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 273-295

About this book


This book explores the aesthetic practices used by Dickens to make the space which we have come to know as the Dickensian City. It concentrates on three very precise techniques for the production of social space (counter-mapping, overlaying and troping). The chapters show the scapes and writings which influenced him and the way he transformed them, packaged them and passed them on for future use. The city is shown to be an imagined or virtual world but with a serious aim for a serious game: Dickens sets up a workshop for the simulation of real societies and cities. This urban building with is transferable to other literatures and medial forms. The book offers vital understanding of how writing and image work in particular ways to recreate and re-enchant society and the built environment. It will be of interest to scholars of literature, media, film, urban studies, politics and economics.


Victorianism Urban Studies Nineteenth-Century Literature City Novel Charles Dickens and the city

Editors and affiliations

  • Estelle Murail
    • 1
  • Sara Thornton
    • 2
  1. 1.Université Paris DiderotParisFrance
  2. 2.Université Paris DiderotParisFrance

Bibliographic information