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SC2035 Charles Dickens: The Man, The Novels, The Legacy

Ended 19 Mar 2021

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Full course description

Course Overview

Celebrated for his masterful plots, eccentric characters and prodigious literary output, Charles Dickens is one of the giants of Victorian literature and the first global celebrity author. This course explores the works of this Victorian pop-culture icon in the context of his life and times. Focusing largely on six of his major works, we will trace Dickens's extraordinary literary career and ever-increasing fame from the humorous hijinks of The Pickwick Papers to the artistic mastery of the great novels of the 1850s and 60s. We will also examine the cultural afterlife of Dickens’ novels in film, TV, and other media.


This course represents an opportunity to explore the career of a literary phenomenon – an author who enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, sparked a serial publishing craze and is unique among novelists for his highly theatrical public performances of his own works. If you admire Dickens’ ability to mix comedy and pathos and his savage indictment of social injustice, or if you simply want to learn more about the famed author of those sprawling, big books, then this is the course for you.


Course Schedule 


Classes will be delivered online on Fridays 10.30am-12.30pm for eight weeks from 29 January to 19 March.


Week 1. Charles Dickens: his life and times, and his entry into the literary marketplace with Pickwick.

Week 2. Oliver Twist.

Week 3. Martin Chuzzlewit.

Week 4David Copperfield.

Week 5Bleak House.

Week 6Great Expectations.

Week 7Our Mutual Friend.

Week 8. Dicken’s Christmas stories and his legacy.

Course Lecturer

Emma Dore-Horgan is pursuing doctoral research at the University of Oxford; and holds a BA in English Literature and Philosophy from the Open University, an MA in Philosophy from UCC and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from UCD. She is particularly interested in the nineteenth-century novel and the work of the Brontës, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement.


Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.

Closing Date for Application

Monday 18 January

Contact Details for Further Information

Regina Sexton, Phone: 021-4904700, Email: