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Forum Post: Not-So-Bleak-House: Rescuing Dickens’s Reputation

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 4, 2012, 8:19 a.m. EST by darrenlobo (204)
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On Saturday, August 11, Sarah Skwire will present "Not-So-Bleak-House: Rescuing Dickens’s Reputation" at An Evening at FEE.

When: Saturday, August 11, 2012 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Where: On your computer!


Characters like the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and novels like the anti-industrial Hard Times have made the works of Charles Dickens something of a punching bag for friends of the free market, and this is understandable. But by allowing our opponents to focus on these parts of Dickens's work, we neglect his important agreement with free market principles on such issues as the power of innovation, the value of work, and the importance of personal financial responsibility, and we lose an important and persuasive ally in the process. To cherry-pick, on either side of the battle over markets, just the most ideologically appealing part of a writer's work is to do the work and the writer a great injustice, and this lecture will seek to offered a more balanced, more complex, and more economically sophisticated Dickens.

Sarah Skwire is the author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is about to appear in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her writing has appeared in journals as varied as Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Sarah’s work has also appeared in the Freeman and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS and other organizations. She has won prizes for her poetry which has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned a MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago. Currently at work on a book length project about money in early modern poetry, and shorter projects on similar mixtures of literature and economics, Sarah is also a full-time Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation. Sarah and her husband have two daughters.



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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 11 years ago

Hmmm. Sounds like she's saying that only those who believe in "free market principles" believe in things such as "the power of innovation, the value of work, and the importance of personal financial responsibility." What a bunch of crap! Perhaps she should add "entitlement and free-loading and exploiting workers" as well. Then she might be on to something.

[-] 0 points by darrenlobo (204) 11 years ago

Wow you have quite the active imagination. Perhaps you could just stick to what was posted.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23789) 11 years ago

I quoted from the post. What's she saying then?