Title: Dickens’s Consumptive Urbanity: Consumption (Tuberculosis) through the Prism of Victorian Sensibility


Vol. 9(3), 2021, pp. 32-43.



Author: Hristo Boev

About the author: Hristo Boev, Ph.D. is a senior assistant professor of English and American Literature at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Shumen, Bulgaria. He is the author of the books: Modern(ist) Portrayals of the City in Dickens and Dos Passos: Similarities, Differences, Continuities, The Different Dobruja in the Literature between the Wars (original title in Bulgarian) and Feminine Selves in Sylvia Plath’s Prose and Poetry: The Perspective of Compared Lived Experience in Fiction. He is also a translator of English and Romanian with numerous literary translations to his credit. His main interests lie in the fields of Comparative Literature, Modernism, Literary Urbanism, Geocriticism, Phenomenology of Perception and the Art of translation.






Citation (APA style): Boev, H. (2021). Dickens’s Consumptive Urbanity: Consumption (Tuberculosis) through the Prism of Victorian Sensibility. Studies in Linguistics, Culture, and FLT, 9(3), 32-43.


Abstract: This article examines the correlation between consumption and tuberculosis in Dickens’s city, tracing the evolution of its representations in his novels. It compares these representations to the coverage of the disease in Victorian newspapers against criticism on tuberculosis and literature. In so doing, the article establishes Dickens as a writer divided by his scientific approach as a city life chronicler and his Victorian imagination. Since consumption and consumerism as a phenomenon appeared in the mid-19th century, the text also aims to determine the dimensions of the interaction between consuming the city and being consumed by it and how this is related to tuberculosis. The researched material includes early to mid-Dickens’s works since tubercular presence is the strongest felt and the most significant there; thus, consumption (tuberculosis) in Dickens can be considered the Janus face of early consumerism, resulting from insufficient consumption of food and proper care.

Key words: tuberculosis, consumption, urban, disease, Victorian



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