❰Epub❯ ➞ Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation Author Charles Dickens – Lectinshield.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation

  1. says:

    Dombey and Son is a novel about pride and ambition Paul Dombey, proud, wealthy, arrogant and frigid, is a man to whom the idea of Dombey and Son is paramount There has always been a Dombey and Son there will always be a Dombey and Son It is his whole world, his reason for being Everything in his life is focused and directed towards this The full title of the book is Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation Therefore the son of the title, although a real living person, is first and foremost an abstract concept, much as we are led to believe Paul Dombey senior himself had been to his own father, and so on, as far back as living memory allowed The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light Common abbreviations took new meanings in his eyes, and had sole reference to them A D had no concern with Anno Domini, but stood for anno Dombei and Son The book starts with a defence of this character by Dickens himself, as part of the Preface from 1867, where he berates his earlier readers for the confounding of shyness with arrogance , insisting that, Mr Dombey undergoes no violent change, either in this book, or in real life A sense of his injustice is within him, all along The he represses it, the unjust he necessarily is And although we despise Dombey Senior for his rigidity, his cold aloofness, his arrogance and pride, we see that he is the product of his class and time, and that any adapting of that initial repression as Dickens terms it, must represent a huge development in his character This novel is partly about his eventual realisation and breaking out from such an inflexible mould Dickens carefully inches Dombey along to and appallingly selfish acts, so that the reader comes to abominate the man s actions Throughout he stays completely authentic and believable, even though at root Dombey is an honourable man He is never a villain in the same mould as, for instance, his man of business the marvellously devious, scheming and manipulative wolf, Carker.Once again we have a myriad of wonderful characters James Carker is a moral thug who steals every scene in which he appears He would shoot to the top of the tree of pantomime villains a delight to read about with his, two unbroken rows of glistening teeth, whose regularity and whiteness were quite distressing It was impossible to escape the observation of them, for he showed them whenever he spoke and bore so wide a smile upon his countenance a smile, however, very rarely, indeed, extending beyond his mouth , that there was something in it like the snarl of a cat Carker s beauteous teeth are mentioned no less than 69 times in the novel Dombey s little son Paul is, to use an expression of the the time, a strange old fashioned boy Dickens modelled him on his sister Fanny s crippled son Henry Burnett Junior Paul s startling observations seem to indicate a wisdom, and perhaps a prescience, beyond his years Coupled with his frailty, this increases our feelings of impending doom Dombey also has a daughter, Florence, whom he ignores and despises Her depiction is easily the most convincing good heroine he has created so far She is virtuous, intelligent, hardworking, determined, modest and kind In fact she has all the attributes Dickens admired in women Yet unlike earlier female characters, she has what we would consider a flaw She feels guilt where there could not possibly be any From a modern perspective then, she is very appealing We do not like perfection Another character who appears later in the book is Edith Granger, a proud, bridling, passionate but penniless widow, and again, she is a very rounded and complex character, with nuances of ambition, confusion, bitterness, loathing and a kind of desperate love Almost as many pages of this novel are devoted to female characters as to male characters, including the title character, Dombey himself Florence and Edith together comprise much of this attention Edith s mother Mrs Skewton is a wonderfully monstrous creation, a sort of prototype for the much later Miss Havisham in Great Expectations But unlike her, she pimps out her daughter while she primps up herself.As well as the great family of Dombey, there are other families whose kindness and warmth of their internal relationships provide a sharp contrast There is young, good hearted Walter Gay, his old salt of the earth uncle Solomon Gills, a ship s instrument maker, plus their friend the genial old Captain Cuttle Captain Cuttle himself has an old seafaring friend called Captain Jack Bunsby, who is always called on in times of crisis for much valued advice, although those around usually find such advice perplexing Bunsby is hilariously described by Dickens as having, one stationary eye in the mahogany face, and one revolving one, on the principle of some lighthouses One cannot think of this family without thinking of Mrs MacStinger, that fearsome harridan of a landlady, who terrifies the life out of Bunsby The playing out and denouement of their continuing saga, is both hilarious and satisfying, as it eventually weaves into another main theme The strands in this novel are so subtly intertwined the novel is superbly constructed This family represent to some extent the old world which is being left behind The Toodle family, rosy cheeked Polly who has to become Mrs Richards in order to emphasise her position as nurse rather than her individuality, her plump and apple faced husband, who later begins to work on the railway, plus all the little Toodles including their eldest rogue of a son Rob the Grinder represent the new world There is Dombey s sister Louisa Chick, the only person to have any influence whatsoever over him, slight though it is, and whose byword seems to be effort Anything could be overcome by effort According to her, the fact that Dombey s first wife died during childbirth at the beginning of the novel was due to her not making an effort thus proving without a doubt that she was not a real Dombey, with the admirable Dombey marks of character There is Susan Nipper, initially an unpleasant and objectionable, waspish, sharp tongued character, but as Florence s maid she proves to be a loyal and stout hearted friend, who has the reader cheering from the sidelines when she tells some home truths to Paul Dombey There is the gouty retired Major Joe Bagstock, put in for comic relief, as the objects of his amorous inclinations seem to change so very easily Lucretia Tox too, switches her matrimonial attentions with equal alacrity to our great entertainment once again Another entertaining cameo role is played by Mrs Pipchin, the cantankerous operator of a boarding house in Brighton where Paul and Florence are sent for Paul s health Never a comment goes by without her referring to her late husband, who had been killed 40 years earlier, in the Peruvian Mines Dickens apparently modelled Mrs Pipchin on Mrs Roylance, who had been his landlady in London when his father was imprisoned for debt.There is the grotesque witch Good Mrs Brown, in a frightening and shocking fairytale passage in the book which is extraordinarily redolent of Hansel and Gretel or Baba Yaga Incredibly unpleasant and bizarre, she is one of the few actual caricatures in the book Yet she returns later on, fully fleshed out, and is revealed to have a profound connection to the main storyline There is the portly scholar Doctor Blimbers, his wife who, was not learned herself, but she pretended to be, and that did quite as well and the Doctor s daughter, the ghoulish Cornelia, dry and sandy with working in the graves of deceased languages Kind but misguided, their strenuous disciplined instructive routine in their cramming Academy causes their little pupils such long term distress Minor characters add to the book s enjoyment There is Toots, little Paul s scatterbrained classmate, who becomes the humble admirer of Florence, permanently worried about his absent mindedness and addled brain There are many quirky characters dotted around the novel, and several subplots, such as the hidden mysterious secret between the Carker brothers Why is Carker s older brother John called the Junior by James, having a low position at the firm of Dombey and Son, and why is he looked upon generally with scorn There is the sister of both brothers, Harriet, who for some unknown reason has elected to live with this less successful brother, John Then there is the feisty, aggressively enigmatic Alice Brown what is her secret There is the good natured aristocrat cousin Feenix, who makes everything all right in the end, Doctor Parker Peps, Sir Barnet, Lady and Master Skettles and the wonderfully named Reverend Melchisedech Howler There are many characters who come to mind, but I cannot leave the topic without mentioning Florence s only true friend and sole companion at one point, a scruffy mutt, Diogenes the dog, Come, then, Di Dear Di Make friends with your new mistress Let us love each other, Di said Florence, fondling his shaggy head And Di, the rough and gruff, as if his hairy hide were pervious to the tear that dropped upon it, and his dog s heart melted as it fell, put his nose up to her face, and swore fidelity Diogenes already loved her for her own, and didn t care how much he showed it So he made himself vastly ridiculous by performing a variety of uncouth bounces in the ante chamber, and concluded, when poor Florence was at last asleep, and dreaming of the rosy children opposite, by scratching open her bedroom door rolling up his bed into a pillow lying down on the boards, at the full length of his tether, with his head towards her and looking lazily at her, upside down, out of the tops of his eyes, until from winking and winking he fell asleep himself, and dreamed, with gruff barks, of his enemy We have this absurdity, this humour We have our entertainment, our mystery and sometime our horror And we also have, perhaps for the first time, literary gravitas For instance, the motif of Time constantly rears its head, with timepieces, clocks and watches, all present at decisive moments of the story Another noticable device is the sea, waves, and running water A sense of waves , or a kind of unsteadiness often seeps into the story just as a character is delerious or beginning to be seriously ill, when an enormous eventful change is in the air, or some thing or idea is to be swept away There is so much symbolism with ringing and bells tolling the death knell There are both overt and subtle references to earlier literary works Is it not deliberate that Dickens has created three witches in the novel First comes the kidnapper and thief, the ogress Good Mrs Brown The second is the abominable Mrs Skewton, whom Dickens facetiously refers to throughout as Cleopatra because of her artificiality This description is of her as her maid attends to Mrs Skewton s dress as she retires at night, her touch was as the touch of Death The painted object shrivelled underneath her hand the form collapsed, the hair dropped off, the arched dark eyebrows changed to scanty tufts of grey the pale lips shrunk, the skin became cadaverous and loose, an old, worn yellow, nodding woman, with red eyes, alone remained in Cleopatra s place, huddled up, like a slovenly bundle, in a greasy flannel gown What an eye The third hag, is a fortune teller, or tramp, a withered and very ugly old woman munching with her jaws, as if the Death s Head beneath her yellow skin were impatient to get out Scowling, screaming, wrathful, and going backwards like a crab, or like a heap of crabs for her alternately expanding and contracting hands might have represented two of that species, and her creeping face some half a dozen crouched on the veinous root of an old tree, pulled out a short black pipe from within the crown of her bonnet, lighted it with a match, and smoked in silence, looking fixedly at her questioner This narrative complexity marks a subtle change and expertise in Dickens s novel writing Dombey and Son is a book which can be read on many levels During 1844 to 1847, the railways were starting to be developed, and the impact this has on London life is also a major aspect of the book Several of the characters can been seen as representing one age or another Dombey epitomises the older age of traditional values, stymied by the new exciting upcoming age which was to clear away the stuffiness with opportunities for all Yet this new age was also to impose mechanisation and a lack of individuality Dickens sees it all, and see the faults inherent in both His powerful descriptive passages describing the coming of the railroad to Camden Town, conjure up a hellish place, The first shock of a great earthquake had, just at that period, rent the whole neighbourhood to its centre Traces of its course were visible on every side Houses were knocked down streets broken through and stopped deep pits and trenches dug in the ground enormous heaps of earth and clay thrown up buildings that were undermined and shaking, propped by great beams of wood Hot springs and fiery eruptions, the usual attendants upon earthquakes, lent their contributions of confusion to the scene Boiling water hissed and heaved within dilapidated walls whence, also, the glare and roar of flames came issuing forth and mounds of ashes blocked up rights of way Dombey and Son was Charles Dickens s seventh novel, published, as his earlier ones had been, in monthly parts initially, between Oct 1846 and Apr 1848 He was between 34 and 36 years old when he wrote it The first parts were written in Lausanne, Switzerland, before Dickens returned to England, via Paris, to complete it He also published one of his Christmas books, The Battle Of Life , was directing and acting in various theatrical productions, and set up Urania Cottage for fallen women with his friend the philanthropist Angela Burdett Coutts, all within the space of time when he was writing Dombey and Son As always, he was a literary dynamo, pushing himself to the absolute maximum.Dickens asked his great friend, Hablot K Browne, or Phiz to illustrate Dombey and Son He was not sure how it would sell, as he had new publishers, Bradbury and Evans As it turned out, he had been worrying quite needlessly Before long the installments were selling at up to 40,000 copies a month This was eight times as many as his main competitor, William Makepeace Thackeray, whose monthly installments of Vanity Fair were being issued by the same publisher, but only selling only 5000 copies a month at the most Interestingly Vanity Fair is probably the popular novel of the two nowadays This is yet another example of how immensely popular Dickens was He really could do no wrong in the public s eye.Whenever considering a novel by Dickens it is always as well to bear in mind that what we now read in one book, was never read this way by the initial audience It is serial fiction, and the structure has to take this into account Those earlier readers may have forgotten a character or episode equally, they may need a very dramatic or comic interlude to sustain their interest for the month ahead This sort of imposed spasmodic reading is mostly alien to us now Having said that, the writing is masterly Dickens now has a much surer touch when describing his characters Unlike Thackeray s or Trollope s, they range throughout the upper and lower classes, so that the reader gains a very clear picture of society in his time There are fewer outright caricatures, but many outrageously funny ones The female characters have far depth than ever before, and the novel is devoted proportionally far towards female characters.Critics consider Dombey and Son to be Dickens s first artistically mature work After this novel was published, his reputation had grown so much that he was by then considered a world class author This is the first one for which he planned properly with notes to outline how the novel would progress He called these notes mems All Dickens s novels up to this point had been created free form, from a germ of a suggestion Frequently they developed into something different from what the author originally had in mind, yet all are inspired pieces of writing It would be hard to say when Dickens first started to conform to what we now think of as a novelist, rather than an observant recorder of life, taking his inspiration from the notes he made on what happens in the street, brilliantly embellishing them and throwing in a few sarcastic diatribes on the way Mental giant though he undoubtably was, his writing often strikes the readers as a series of momentary farces With Dombey and Son Dickens had made it clear in his letters to his friend and mentor John Forster, that he had resolved to be a serious novelist This novel is consistent, and has a sounder structure, with less discursiveness in the middle seeming to go nowhere It has themes and subplots to which he returns again and again It has pathos which has emotional appeal than before nothing seems quite so frivolous Nicholas Nickleby had represented Dickens s first attempt at a true novel In that there is the unforgettable portrayal of a school, Dotheboys Hall with its ogre of a headmaster Mr Squeers Yet that part of the book is merely an episode, albeit an inspired, hilarious, scandalous, hugely entertaining episode Nothing which happens there affects the main character very much On the contrary, the character Nicholas Nickleby seems to exist merely in order to tell us about Dotheboys Hall But when little Paul Dombey goes to Dr Blimber s, we get a real sense of the characters there, the kindly but old fashioned cramming teachers Little Paul s pathos is highlighted not by extreme contrast with some exaggerated cartoon character, but by contrast with old dusty pedantry There is a real sense of predestination and tragedy throughout Paul s childish innocence and extraordinary wisdom is eventually perceived and appreciated by all, and his departure from that school is one of the most affecting parts of the book Dombey and Son has all the satirical indignation readers relish so in his early novels, but it has new shades of darkness and a new narrative complexity There are so many nuances and grim metaphors To take a tiny example, think of the loss of the Walter s ship The Son and Heir , and think of an alternative applied meaning After Dombey and Son were to come Dickens s greatest novels These are darker still, and even his absurdity was to be grave I did not weep for Little Nell, in The Old Curiosity Shop , but I wept for little Paul, that wise child, with a philosophical air lifting him preternaturally out of his small body I was in good company When that episode was first published, the entire nation of England was apparently prostrated by grief William Thackeray, in the middle of serialising his own novel, Vanity Fair , was consumed with envy, expostulating, There s no writing against such power as this one has no chance And that in itself, is a measure to me, of just how far Dickens s writing has by now gained in mastery and stature.


  2. says:

    I pretty much spent all day reading this I really wanted to finish it in 2016 and I really got into last quarter of the book This is my third Dickens as an adult not counting the Christmas stories and it is my least favorite of the 3 but it s still well worth the time to read it There were a few too many coincidences needed to move the plot along and just some I thought unnecessary things but reading Dickens is like going on a long trip with a bunch of fun friends It doesn t really matter where you are going it s the fun you have along the way I m very happy I have so many left to explore I m still looking for one to come close to the magic of Bleak House.


  3. says:

    This is by far my favorite Dickens after The Christmas Carol whose reigning place has to do with nostalgia than anything else I found all of the characters interesting and compelling None of them slowed down the narrative for me, unlike in Little Dorrit This is a wonderfully dense book about families and gender roles and the different forms of love I highly enjoyed so many of the plot lines My favorite characters were Walter, Susan Nipper, Edith and Captain Cuttle I m not sure if I m spelling those correctly, as I listened to the audiobook narrated by David Timson, who did an excellent job I look forward to listening to Dickens narrated by him Here I come, Our Mutual Friend


  4. says:

    A big bloated behemoth Dickens An instructive homily on pride and behaving like a coldblooded douche towards your daughter because she isn t a son view spoiler Once Dombey s son dies not a plot spoiler, it happens early on , the novel seems to collapse, start again Britain was in mourning for Paul Dombey s demise, and this grief is reflected in the sluggish pace that follows Wonderful, wrenchingly excruciating scenes between Dombey, whose hauteur builds to pitches of teeth grinding stubbornness, and his many minions hide spoiler


  5. says:

    Dombey and Son is one of Dickens best This novel, in my opinion, rivals Little Dorrit The main protagonist, Florence Dombey is an amazing woman, full of strength and character which guides her through some incredibly miserable years Some of the characters that Dickens develops during the course of this novel are some of the most heinously evil or sad, or full of goodness and love, or are just plain funny There s a powerful message about the influence of wealth , not just money, on the individual, as well as family and friends The explosion of the Industrial Age in Victorian England, and its impact on the culture plays a prominent role too I fell in love with Florence Dombey, Little Paul, Wal r, Cap n Ed ard Cuttle, Mr Toots, and Miss Susan Nipper I shuddered in fear and loathing with each entrance of Mr James Carker in the plot ohhh, the teeth and felt deep sorrow with each mis step that Pere Dombey takes All in all, I could not put this down, and look forward to reading this again sometime in the near future A wonderful book and the characters truly deserved of the moniker Dickensian


  6. says:

    I m glad to have read Dombey and Son, but I can t exactly say I enjoyed reading it at least not consistently There is some wonderful writing in it, but also some very poor, by the yard stuff It screams for a fiery red pen.I was drawn to the novel Dickens s seventh 1846 48 , often seen as marking the beginning of his late, great phase by the theme of a father over investing in his son and underinvesting in his daughter That worked enough well for me as a thread, although Florence Dombey s unfailingly humble love and duty towards the father who spurns her does grate a little on modern sensibilities I had to play around with theories of her as a Christian allegory a modern Job, or Griselda to make anything very satisfying out of her Dickens evokes all kinds of fairy tale imagery for her, and maybe that s another way to read her a princess under some very perverse kind of spell.The passage in the novel where I felt most engaged was when I thought it might be heading into deeper and darker fairy tale territory As if fearing that the lovely Florence might be a little too one dimensional as sole female lead, Dickens introduces a complex and chiaroscuro figure in the form of Edith, her stepmother Shortly after Edith and Paul Dombey contract their ill fated marriage, the two of them begin to wind themselves into a very warped kind of domestic triangle with Dombey s right hand man, the villainous James Carker I thought this scenario had real potential while it lasted, and it was already beginning to offer some interesting insights about the ways human beings find to harm themselves and others Dickens bills it as a battle of pride against pride Dombey s monstrous and chilly self importance against Edith s self loathing fury but there s to it than that The Iago like Carker thrown away as a character, I felt, after a promising build up also has an interestingly ambiguous role to play This being Dickens, the central plot of the novel is fleshed out with a madly maximalist sugar rush of minor characters, variously comic or grotesque or would be lovable OK, I ll take off my Scrooge hat for a moment some of them were reasonably lovable, I suppose Susan Nipper had her moments, as did Captain Cuttle and Sol Gills I just could have done without the endless, one joke Toodles and Toots and Chicks and Chickens and Blimpers and Pipchins Enough already As this reaction will suggest, it may be that I m just not a natural Dickens fan As for settings, mainly London, the complete stand out for me was the dystopian vision of Camden Town near the beginning, mercilessly hacked through by the new build railway The first shock of a great earthquake had, just at that period, rent the whole neighbourhood to its centre Traces of its course were visible on every side Here, a chaos of carts, overthrown and jumbled together, lay topsy turvy at the bottom of a steep unnatural hill there, confused treasures of iron soaked and rusted in something that had accidentally become a pond.I felt Dickens rather over egged trains as symbols later in the novel, but his descriptive powers in this passage are remarkable His vividness and fluency, in passages like this, gave me a glimpse of why so many people see him as a great writer, maybe even the greatest Victorian novelist My personal jury, for the moment, remains out.


  7. says:

    Rereading Summer 2015 Just read chapter 19, Walter Goes Away during breakfast today 11 June 2015 Seriously, there is no competition Tears shed over grapefruit Enjoyed this immensely, again I know that some might feel that Florence s goodness and that her goodness remained with her in her loveless life is impossible For me, I believe that this book is about keeping our peace and faith under great trial Florence could have chosen to become bitter and angry, so many people in real life situations like hers do so But what is the good in that Instead, she chose to keep her soul pure and her personal peace by loving and serving We don t hurt the other person when we secretly hate and despise them, we only hurt ourselves That is one of the beautiful messages of this book There are many real life instances of people like Florence, Dickens didn t invent her as a one of a kind, impossibly sentimental, sappy, and too good to be true Victorian angel in the house woman He made her what we ought to strive to be, forgiving, self less and kind Many people are this What a beautiful thing One of the sad Dickens books Read first 1999 Those were my first thoughts on this book NOW 2011 One of my brothers in law makes fun of me that all I read is Dickens Which isn t true, but every time I revisit him I wonder why I do read anyone else I completely devoured the first half of the book via audio while sewing Christmas presents Done sewing No reason or opportunity I read paper easier than listen with kids around to listen any despite the fact that the narrator, David Timson, was absolutely fantastic , so I had to pick the book up and finish the rest in print I think that many of the beautiful things to be found in a Dickens book any Dickens book must have been lost on me during my first reading because I don t remember l o v i n g this book to distraction as I now do My love for and fascination with the great C D was only just beginning at the time I read this first Since Mr Pegotty David Copperfield I haven t fallen in love with a character like I did with Captain Cuttle, what a dear And Mr Toots And Susan Nipper Delights abound Really, there s no experience to compare with reading Dickens, and I shamelessly admit my undying devotion to him Every page was a delight and wonder A gorgeous experience, well worth the many, many pages Why did I think it was so sad Sure there were plenty of teary moments, but those abound in all his books This one had, if possible, even heart than some of the others True forgiveness, self denial, true, Christ like love, loyalty, forbearance, repentance, the list of lovely traits could go on Read it.


  8. says:

    I m ashamed to admit that until I read this book, I hadn t read a lot of Dickens I skimmed Great Expectations when I was in 9th grade, but only because I was forced, and I read A Christmas Carol for work once long story, but I was working for an educational publishing company and we were doing a dumbed down version After finishing Dombey and Son, I m afraid I don t have anything especially intelligent to add to the reams and reams that has been written about Dickens, except that I m excited about reading a lot of his work Dombey Son is a great, sweeping novel, taking place over the course of approximately 20 years, about a wealthy man who systematically shuns everyone close to him most notably, his daughter, whom he treats appallingly thus leading to his personal and monetary ruin While some people complain, not without some justification, about Dickens s florid writing, the style is easily forgiven next to the engrossing plot, unforgettable characters, and themes that will seem relevant even now in fact, probably especially now And although Florence, Dombey s long suffering daughter, was unrealistically flawless reading about her was rather like reading about a china figurine the other characters, all of whom are fully and convincingly drawn, than make up for Florence s incredible perfection.Dombey and Son is moving, funny, and cathartic, and I recommend it highly.


  9. says:

    This is a great mid period Dickens written just about at the point where his optimism about human beings and his zest to improve the conditions of all the hapless grovellers is at the tipping point of being transformed by a horrible realisation that the corruption of the ruling classes, the venality of the middle classes and the ground down and outness of the labouring men and women meant that only a root and branch revolution would do, reform would simply fail, be watered down by the circumlocutors, revolution was the only hope.But he was terrified of revolution and wrote two books about his fear, Barnaby Rudge which i haven t read yet and A Tale of Two Cities, which I have He knew that social upheaval uncorks the violence, he knew the highway to hell paved with good intentions.So he was in a complete political bind Couldn t go back, couldn t go forward All his middle to late masterpieces are written from this agonised political dilemma Beginning with Dombey and Son he gets gloomier and gloomier.But being Dickens his genius covers the gloom with hectic merriment and gurning gargoylery, which we love.


  10. says:

    This was my first reading of Dombey and Son, and I found it to be one of Dickens s less successful novels I know some rank it highly But I found the plot mostly uninteresting and even dependent than is usual for Dickens on unlikely events and coincidences, and much of the writing turgid and uninspired The first third of the book managed to engage me as the situations developed, but after that I increasingly read out of duty than out of pleasure I have enjoyed so much of Dickens s work that I kept reading in the expectation that things must improve, but they never did I never managed to get a good sense of the character of Dombey or understand why he acted in such self destructive ways My experience of highly successful businessmen is that they are almost universally much better judges of character than Dombey turned out to be His marriage to Edith Granger was unjustified by any aspect of his character, especially since he didn t have the excuse of love or even affection blinding his judgment, as there was none of that on either side of the marriage His treatment of Florence was inexplicable even for Victorian England.Florence herself was sappy and insipid I longed to find a single mention of any possible hint of reality in her, but never did Reading about her was like eating an endless bowl of undiluted sugar The backgrounds were less interesting and less finely drawn than in most Dickens novels London didn t come alive in nearly the way it does in Bleak House, for example, and there was no location of great interest, such as the Marshelsea in Little Dorrit or the marshes or Miss Havisham s house in Great Expectations As is typical of Dickens, there were plenty of well drawn minor characters I particularly enjoyed Captain Cuttle from whom the phrase when found, make a note on apparently comes , Solomon Gills, and Susan Nipper, and appreciated the humor in Mr Toots and Cousin Feenix.I have read many of Dickens s works multiple times, and will read many of them again in future, but Dombey and Son will not be among my choices for rereading However, it does merit three stars, because even a weak Dickens is still a Dickens.


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