by Myron Magnet
In this groundbreaking study, which focuses on Dickens’s early novels Nicholas Nickleby and Barnaby Rudge, City Journal editor Myron Magnet argues that the liberal reformism for which Dickens is so well known rested on a surprisingly traditional view of society. "Magnet has two principal aims. One is to persuade us that Dickens was far more a novelist of ideas than his reputation suggests; the other is to demonstrate that his liberal (or radical) attitudes were embedded in an essentially conservative view of the world. On both counts, he seems successful; his book is well argued, attractively written, and all in all one of the most stimulating studies of Dickens to have appeared in recent years" (New York Times).