Abstract

Prompted by the barometer in Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son (1846–48), as well as by a contemporary observation by the Victorian meteorologist Luke Howard that the barometer’s utility resides in its ability “to deduce cause from effect, and explore the intimate yet obscure relations between them,” this article suggests that the barometer can function in literature not only in symbolic ways but also as a technology, one that prompts us to see and comprehend the realist novel as being a homologous technology with which to explore “intimate yet obscure relations.” In turn, we might extend a practice of barometric reading from Dickens’s novel to other Victorian novels.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 627-646
Launched on MUSE
2016-08-03
Open Access
No
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