Scholarship has associated the London of Our Mutual Friend with filth and corruption, but these aspects of the novel coexist with a version of the city that emphasizes benevolence. Rereading the city for scenes of benevolence reveals that the solutions Dickens posits to urban corruption imagine a viable form of charity in the language of the city itself. By situating the domestically-based charitable practices of Our Mutual Friend alongside mid-nineteenth-century journalistic discourse on urban charity and examples of Dickens's support of philanthropic projects, this essay shows how the novel redefines “home” to arrive at a model of charity that is both specifically urban and personal.

You do not currently have access to this content.