In CHARLES DICKENS, THE FIRST POPULAR MEDIA TITAN, author Rob Howe (Robert M. Howe, III), uses Charles Dickens’ original works and a welter of secondary research to examine and evaluate Dickens as not only an enormously popular Victorian Period author, but also as the first popular culture media titan in the context of three epic changes in Victorian society—the unprecedented sudden availability of printing technology, the sudden vast increase in literacy and the massive changes in popular culture (advertising, spending money, consumer appetites, and the roles of women). Howe’s highly available writing style and his elegant use of illuminative sources makes this piece highly readable as well as quite scholarly. Howe’s consideration of Dickens is fresh, unique and timely, coming as it does on the bi-centennial of Dickens’ birth.
Key words: Charles Dickens, printing, publishing, multi-media, literacy, consumer behavior, roles of women, Victorian period, culture, content, redstone, plagiarism, copyright law, media titan.
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