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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Ghosts and Dickens

8th December 2015, 18:15 to 19:15, Elvet Riverside 140, Professor Simon James

Part of the Institute of Advanced Study's 'Evidence of Spirits' lecture series.

For Charles Dickens, it is imperative for a person to be able to remember their past selves, in particular their childhood self. While it is important not to live in the past, previous versions of the self have to be recognised in order to be a moral and a well-adjusted person.

Ghosts in Dickens frequently serve as a reminder of past or alternate lives. The eponymous Signalman is haunted by a spectre of railway accidents; in The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, Redlaw surrenders his memories of past wrongs, but finds himself unable to sympathise with the sufferings of others. Most famously, the ghosts of A Christmas Carol place Scrooge in a better relationship with other people in his past, present and future.

This lecture will also briefly consider the spectral afterlives of Dickens’s work in TV and film adaptations.

Contact m.r.sandy@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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