Posing for Posterity: The Photographs of Charles Dickens

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Charles Dickens (1812-70) was undoubtedly the most famous writer of his age. His most fruitful period (the 1840s, 50s, and 60s) coincided with the development of one of the most significant technological innovations of the modern age, and one which continues to fascinate and to exercise powerful influences over us all. Photography allowed visual images to become pervasive and plentiful, and provided a means of instant recognition of places and people. In Dickens’s case this was highly significant: over two hundred images of the novelist circulated in his lifetime, including paintings, engravings, lithographs, and photographs. No doubt these enhanced his popularity, and contributed to a ready identification with one of the most famous figures of the day. This exhibition features images of the great novelist captured by all six photographers who were commissioned to photograph him. Almost all were intended for public display and consumption. By examining these photographs we can learn a great deal about the changing image of Dickens, the poses he adopted, and the uses to which his photographs were put.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherLinen Hall LIbrary
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2012


  • Dickens, Charles
  • Photography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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