Course | Dombey and Son: Charles Dickens and the Business of Family [In Progress]

Date / Time

  • October 1, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • November 5, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • December 3, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • January 7, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States



Over our four monthly class sessions, we will dive deep into one of Dickens’ less-read masterpieces. Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation, serialized between October 1846 and April 1848, deals with the fate of the business and family (inextricably intertwined) of one Paul Dombey. The novel provides new insight into the connections between many of Dickens’ well-known social concerns—class conflict, cruelty to children, unhappy marriages, and the pressures of Victorian capitalism. As we wend our way through the novel’s rich tapestry of competing plotlines and compelling social portraiture, we will have the opportunity not only to consider how it reconfigures the themes and questions of more familiar novels (David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and their ilk) but also to examine what Dombey and Son reveals about the questions we still ask ourselves today about the competing values of work and family and the process of reconciling them.


syllabus Dombey and Son

About the Instructor

Dr. Christine Woody is Assistant Professor of English at Widener University, where she also directs the Textual Scholarship Certificate Program. She teaches widely in the British eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a special interest in the dynamics of print culture. She is completing a book manuscript, Publishing Personality: Romantic Periodicals and the Paradox of Living Authorship, which considers the impact of anonymous and pseudonymous periodical culture on the theory and practice of authorship.

About Rosenbach Courses

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