“When a House Is So Much More”: Character, Tenancy, and Property in Victorian Fiction
  • Audrey Jaffe
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Economics book series (PSLCE)


This chapter discusses connections between character and property in Victorian fiction and contemporary US culture. It argues that the nineteenth century in general, and Dickens’s work in particular, established metonymic links between the solidity or unreliability of character and a relation to ownership, developing a rhetoric of permanence versus impermanence and order versus disorder. The chapter describes a trajectory from transience to mobility in these representations, based in the idea of the “speculative pedestrian” enacted in Dickens’s Sketches by Boz (1837–1838) and contemporary landlords as represented in Matthew Desmond’s study of eviction (2016).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Audrey Jaffe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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