Fractal Myth

Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son.

[Michelle Chapman ©1999]

Drawing on resumes of critical approaches to the Victorian social-problem novel given by Bodenheimer (1988) Introduction, and Guy (1996) Chapter 2, suggest to what extent you find any of these approaches useful in developing a reading of Dicken's Dombey and Son.

Dickens' Dombey and Son deserves a place among the social-problem novels for it engages imaginatively with the essential question of 'the condition of England' - and its inhabitants. The importance of this question for Dickens can be seen in a speech given two years before Dombey and Son was published.

"I believe that to lay one's hand upon some one of those rejected ones whom the world has too long forgotten, and too often misused, and to say to the proudest and most thoughtless, - these creatures have the same elements and capacities of goodness as yourselves, they are moulded in the same form, and made of the same clay; and though ten times worse than you, may, in having retained anything of their original nature amidst the trials and distresses of their condition, be really ten times better. - I believe that to do this is to pursue a worthy and not useless avocation."(1)

Social problems were important to the social-problem novelists because they were problematical, or because the novelist felt they should be problematical. The issues were contentious, as was the expression of them in fiction. Fiction provided a site where novelists could challenge the existing status quo. As a contemporary critic said (disapprovingly) of Dickens, "there are accusations which can only be conveyed through a novel"!(2)

In looking at the social-problem novels and their critics, Josephine Guy identified a need for an exploration of "those 'imaginative resources' which possess the potential to oppose the dominant ideology."(3) This echoes Rosemarie Bodenheimer's suggestion that criticism of the social-problem novel should focus on the way in which "private plots are the fictional conduits for imagining the nature of social government and the possible directions of social change."(4) Dickens' 'imaginative resources' were ideally suited to the social-problem novel, creating 'private plots' which gave him access to readers from all strata of society.

"As to whether his delineations are true to broad daylight English life, that may be for some time to come a matter of opinion on which men will differ. That they are, one and all, true to the ideal in the author's mind, is a matter on which none differ; while the inexhaustible humour, the unbounded power of observation, the exquisite occasional pathos, and the geniality of spirit throughout, carry all readers far away from critical thoughts, and give to the author the whole range of influence, from the palace library to the penny book-club."(5)

Just for the record, the following is a twentieth-century romantic Australian female's approach to Dicken's Dombey and Son, as a Victorian social-problem novel.

Within Dombey and Son, two worlds are woven together, in a manner "allegorical to see"(D&S p.596). These are not the two nations, rich and poor, of Disraeli's Sybil, though the gap between them is just as wide, and just as problematical for Victorian society. The public, mercantile world of the 'House of Dombey and Son' is obsessed with wealth and power. In opposition to this, often completely reversing the value judgments of the public world, Dickens creates a private domestic 'fairytale' world, where the inner life of the spirit is allowed expression. Most of the characters in the novel share this double dimension - Mrs Pipchin, for example, is seen in the public world as a respectable widow, "Mrs Pipchin's husband having broken his heart of the Peruvian mines was good. It had a rich sound"(D&S p.159), managing "an infantine Boarding-House of a very select description."(D&S p.159). In the fairytale world of feelings, however, Mrs Pipchin is named an "Ogress"(D&S p.164), "a witch"(D&S p.166), an "exemplary dragon"(D&S p.170), implicitly questioning her fitness as a child-minder.

In the public world of the patriarchy, a character's worth depends on their social status and ability to participate in business transactions. In the private world of the fairytale, characters are judged according to their capacity for love. With the collapse of the 'House of Dombey and Son' (built on the shifting, unstable sands of profit and power) and its re-establishment on the rock of "love, eternal and illimitable"(D&S p.976), Dickens shows that these worlds, public and private, are (or should be) indistinguishable. Significantly, only those characters who have proven their ability to love in the public world are allowed to participate in the 'happily ever after' fairytale ending.

Many of the most important characters in the novel are in transition between these two worlds - their public identity challenges, or is challenged by, their place in the fairytale world of feelings. As space in this essay is limited, I will limit myself to three adult characters whose fairytale existence is determined by their parent's introduction of them, as children, into the public world: Mr Dombey, Alice and Edith. I will then consider Mr Dombey's children and grandchildren, and their potential to create a better future by loving and being loved in their turn.

When we first meet Mr Dombey, the egocentric magnate of the public world, he is glorying in his pride and self-importance.

"The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light. Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships; rainbows gave them promise of fair weather; winds blew for or against their enterprises; stars and planets circled in their orbits, to preserve inviolate a system of which they were the centre." (D&S p.50)

He sees people only as inferiors or possessions, and having long ago stifled his own human emotions, their feelings mean nothing to him. He demands absolute respect, and is incapable of compromise. All human relationships are reduced to impersonal business transactions.

"'You will further please, Madam,' said Mr Dombey, in a tone of sovereign command, 'to understand distinctly, that I am to be deferred to and obeyed. That I must have a positive show and deference before the world, Madam. I am used to this. I require it as my right. In short I will have it. I consider it no unreasonable return for the worldly advancement that has befallen you; and I believe nobody will be surprised, either at its being required from you, or at your making it. - To Me - To Me!' he added, with emphasis."(D&S p.652) [my italics]

By contrast, in the fairytale world, the reader can sympathise with Mr Dombey as a prisoner in his own castle, locked in by his hereditary pride and prejudice. Young Paul at least had Florence to love him. What was Mr Dombey's childhood and initiation into the Victorian patriarchy like?

"From the glimpses she caught of Mr Dombey at these times, sitting in the dark distance, looking out towards the infant from among the dark heavy furniture - the house had been inhabited for years by his father, and in many of its appointments was old-fashioned and grim - she began to entertain ideas of him in his solitary state, as if he were a lone prisoner in a cell, or a strange apparition that was not to be accosted or understood."(D&S p.76)

In his proud repression of his feelings, Mr Dombey represents "a prevailing cultural ideal of manliness ... that heroism of emotional self-discipline"(6) which proves to be ultimately unsustainable. As Michael Goldberg suggests, Dickens' "dramatic account of the insidious corruption of Mr Dombey's inner life is an obvious attempt to render in fictional terms Carlyle's objection to the way money worship interferes with the life process."(7) As the symbol of the established Victorian patriarchal society, Mr Dombey's soul is the prize in the fairytale struggle between good and evil, between a loving Christian God, and Mammon. Given his absolute belief in his own importance, drummed into him from an early age, Mr Dombey simply cannot see the misery of others. He can still be saved, but only because he has been blind, and when his eyes are opened, he is sincerely repentant. "Oh my God, forgive me, for I need it very much!"(D&S p.940)

Like Mr Dombey, Edith and Alice are by-products of the Victorian patriarchy's obsession with wealth. The public world for them is a site of prostitution, either on the streets or in a rich man's home.

"'What is it that you have to sell?' said Edith.
'Only this,' returned the woman, holding out her wares, without looking at them. 'I sold myself long ago.'"(D&S p.664)

"Writing a novel about the Victorian business world, it made abundant sense that Dickens chose the oldest continuous form of contractual business, prostitution, as one of his controlling metaphors."(8) Despite the difference in their social status, both women complain of being denied a normal loving childhood, taught instead to sell themselves to the highest bidder, to be "made a short-lived toy, and flung aside more cruelly and carelessly than even such things are."(D&S p.847) As a result, both Alice and Edith have come to despise money - to see it at its 'real' worth, much to the confusion of their mothers.

"With a fierce action of her hand, as if she sprinkled hatred on the ground, and with it devoted those who were standing there to destruction, she looked up once at the black sky, and strode out into the wild night.
The mother, who had plucked at her skirts again and again in vain, and had eyed the money lying on the threshold with an absorbing greed that seemed to concentrate her faculties upon it, would have prowled about, until the house was dark, and then groped in the mire on the chance of repossessing herself of it. But the daughter drew her away ..."(D&S p.579)

In the language of the fairytale realm, Alice is the fallen 'gypsy' woman, "no bonnet on her head, nothing to defend her rich black hair from the rain, but a torn handkerchief; ... seeking no shelter from the rain, but letting it rain on her as it would."(D&S p.563) Mistreated by Mr Carker when just a girl, and transported to Australia for being "concerned in a robbery - in every part of it but the gains"(D&S p.847), Alice has returned to prove to the patriarchal society that rejected her, that there is a force more powerful than money.

"'Do you know nothing of a woman's anger? ... A woman's anger is pretty much the same here, as in your fine house. I am angry. I have been so, many years. I have as good cause for my anger as you have for yours, and its object is the same man.'
He started, in spite of himself, and looked at her with astonishment." (D&S p.819)

Alice soon finds that there is a force even stronger than anger. In her first meeting with Harriet Carker, her resentment of society's hypocrisy is overwhelming. "Why should I be penitent, and all the world go free? They talk to me of my penitence. Who's penitent for the wrongs that have been done to me?"(D&S p.565) But Harriet's kindness reawakens Alice's finer feelings. Simply by treating her as a fellow human in need of care, Harriet breaks the cycle in which Alice had been caught, endlessly cursing the world she had been born into.

"'There! I have done, mother, ... I have said enough. ... Your childhood was like mine, I suppose. So much the worse for both of us."(D&S p.571)

After setting Mr Dombey on Mr Carker's trail, Alice fights an internal (eternal) battle between the good and evil in herself. In a resurrection of her better instincts, love eventually triumphs over hatred.

"I am ashamed to speak the words, but I relent. I despise myself; I have fought with myself all day, and all last night; but I relent towards him without reason, and wish to repair what I have done, if it is possible."(D&S p.849)

Instead of cursing, she is now able to bless Harriet and is finally allowed to know peace.

"'She laid her hand upon her breast, murmuring the sacred name that had been read to her; and life passed from her face like a light removed.
Nothing lay there, any longer, but the ruin of the mortal house on which the rain had beaten, and the black hair that had fluttered in the wintry wind."(D&S p.923)

Edith's prostitution takes the fairytale form of a jewelled bird in a gilded cage, bought to decorate Mr Dombey's mansion (a humiliation in itself), who is humiliated further for failing to sing on demand.

"'It is handsome,' said Mr Dombey, looking round. 'I directed that no expense should be spared; and all that money could do, has been done, I believe.'
'And what can it not do, dear Dombey?' observed Cleopatra.
'It is powerful, Madam,' said Mr Dombey.
He looked in his solemn way towards his wife, but not a word said she.
He might have read in that one glance that nothing that his wealth could do, though it were increased ten thousand fold, could win him for its own sake, one look of softened recognition from the defiant woman, linked to him, but arrayed with her whole soul against him. He might have read in that one glance that even for its sordid and mercenary influence upon herself, she spurned it, while she claimed its utmost power as her right, her bargain - as the base and worthless recompense for which she had become his wife. He might have read in it that, ever baring her own head for the lightning of her own contempt and pride to strike, the most innocent allusion to the power of his riches degraded her anew, sunk her deeper in her own respect, and made the blight and waste within her more complete." (D&S p.583-4)

Edith's pride is as great as Mr Dombey's, and if he cannot compromise, she cannot accept his ultimatums. Only Florence (in whose innocent love Edith sees what she might have been if her mother "had but left me to my natural heart when I too was a girl"(D&S p.514)) has any power over Edith, who is even prepared to submit to Mr Dombey, for Florence's sake.

"She bent her eyes upon him steadily, and set her trembling lips. He saw her bosom throb, and saw her face flush and turn white. All this he could know, and did : but he could not know that one word was whispering in the deep recesses of her heart, to keep her quiet; and that the word was Florence.
Blind idiot, rushing to a precipice! He thought she stood in awe of him!" (D&S p.651)

In the blindness of his own self-importance, Mr Dombey resents Florence's influence over Edith, an influence his money should have bought for him. His use of Mr Carker to separate Edith from Florence backfires, however. In threatening to sever the last connection that Edith has with the private world of human feelings, Dombey and Carker leave her feeling eternally caged in the misery of the uncaring patriarchal world.

"May this man be a liar! For if he has spoken truth, she is lost to me, and I have no hope left!'
This man, meanwhile, went home musing to bed, thinking, with a dainty pleasure, how imperious her passion was, how she had sat before him in her beauty, with the dark eyes that had never turned away but once; how the white down had fluttered; how the bird's feathers had been strewn upon the ground." (D&S p.721)

When she flies from her husband, it is no surprise that Edith leaves her gaudy plumage, her purchase price, behind, "thrown down in a costly mass upon the ground, was every ornament she had, since she had been his wife; every dress she had worn; and everything she had possessed."(D&S p.756) For Edith herself is now truly possessed, caging within herself a terrible dedication to revenge.

"'What devil possesses you?'
'Their name is Legion,' she replied, uprearing her proud form as if she would have crushed him; 'you and your master have raised them in a fruitful house, and they shall tear you both. False to him, false to his innocent child, false every way and everywhere, go forth and boast of me, and gnash your teeth, for once, to know that you are lying! ... In every vaunt you make, 'she said, 'I have my triumph. I single out in you the meanest man I know, the parasite and tool of the proud tyrant, that his wound may go the deeper, and may rankle more. Boast, and revenge me on him! You know how you came here tonight; you know how you stand cowering there; you see yourself in colours quite as despicable, if not as odious, as those in which I see you. Boast then, and revenge me on yourself.'" (D&S p.859)

As with the other characters in transition, Edith is given an opportunity to join the happy ending and live in a world of love, but her wounds and self-hatred are too raw and too deep for even the balm of Florence's love to heal.

"'Guilty of much! Guilty of that which sets a waste between us evermore. Guilty of what must separate me, through the whole remainder of my life, from purity and innocence - from you, of all the earth. Guilty of a blind and passionate resentment, of which I do not, cannot, will not, even now, repent; but not guilty with that dead man. Before God!'
... She was moved and weeping. Had she been oftener thus in older days, she had been happier now."(D&S p.965)

Her penance is a self-imposed exile from the loving fairytale world, but Edith is not forsaken. Her Cousin Feenix cares for her as an individual, counselling her affectionately on her duty to herself :

"to set right, as far as she can, whatever she has done wrong - not for the honour of her family, not for her own fame, not for any of those considerations which unfortunate circumstances have induced her to regard as hollow, and in point of fact, as approaching to humbug - but because it is wrong, and not right."(D&S p.967)

With time, and Cousin Feenix's loyal companionship, even Edith's caged heart may learn to rise from the ashes and fly again, a phoenix indeed.

And now to Florence herself. In the public world of the Victorian patriarchy, Florence has no identity to call her own.

"But what was a girl to Dombey and Son! In the capital of the House's name and dignity, such a child was merely a piece of base coin that couldn't be invested - a bad Boy - nothing more."(D&S p.51)

Overflowing with unwanted love, she will 'never be a Dombey', but to those who know the true value of love, this is a confirmation of her power. "Never be a Dombey won't she? It's to be hoped she won't, we don't want any more such, one's enough."(D&S p.108) If she is nothing in the mercantile world, in the fairytale realm of the human spirit, Florence is everything. She represents the world from which Mr Dombey is exiled by his lack of feeling, and he resents her unconscious ability to inspire love in others (especially love that he has tried unsuccessfully to purchase).

"The limp and careless little hand that Mr Dombey took in his, was singularly out of keeping with the wistful face. But he had no part in its sorrowful expression. It was not addressed to him. No, no. to Florence - all to Florence.
If Mr Dombey in his insolence of wealth, had ever made an enemy, hard to appease and cruelly vindictive in his hate, even such an enemy might have received the pang that wrung his proud heart then, as compensation for his injury." (D&S p.214)

While Mr Dombey is secure in his pride and possessions, Florence's love unavoidably reminds him of what he has sacrificed in becoming the powerful patriarch. "[H]er persistent love towards him [is] akin to introducing a female nudist into a celibate's refuge."(9) Despite his neglect of her, she is the only person he cannot discard as an object. She alone remains human to him, "the flesh and blood he could not disown."(D&S p.142) Though she is rejected by the public world, all the right-thinking inhabitants of the fairytale world are drawn to Florence and instinctively recognise her worth, willingly transgressing the social boundaries to defend her right to exist in both worlds.

"'Miss Floy,' said Susan Nipper, 'is the most devoted and most patient and most dutiful and beautiful of daughters, there ain't no gentleman, no Sir, though as great and rich as all the greatest and richest of England put together, but might be proud of her and would and ought. If he knew her value right, he'd rather lose his greatness and his fortune piece by piece and beg his way in rags from door to door, I say to some and all, he would!' cried Susan Nipper, bursting into tears, 'than bring the sorrow on her tender heart that I have seen it suffer in this house!'"(D&S p.704)

Before the private world of love can triumph over the public business world, Florence must choose between them for herself. Although the direction of her choice between love and money is never in doubt, Florence is also determined never to leave her father, regardless of the cost to herself. She will remain waiting patiently for him to return her love.

"Florence lived alone in the great dreary house, and day succeeded day, and still she lived alone; and the blank walls looked down upon her with a vacant stare, as if they had a Gorgon-like mind to stare her youth and beauty into stone.
No magic dwelling-place in magic story, shut up in the heart of a thick wood, was ever more solitary and deserted to the fancy, than was her father's mansion in its grim reality, as it stood lowering on the street : always by night, when lights were shining from neighbouring windows, a blot upon its scanty brightness; always by day, a frown upon its never-smiling face."(D&S p.393)

When Mr Dombey banishes Florence from his house, she is finally liberated from its stifling patriarchal atmosphere, set free to fulfill her fairytale potential as everyone's "Heart's Delight"(D&S p.760) and to enjoy the fairytale happiness she deserves.

"Upon the deck, image to the roughest man on board of something that is graceful, beautiful, and harmless - something that it is good and pleasant to have there, and that should make the voyage prosperous - is Florence. It is night, and she and Walter sit alone, watching the solemn path of light upon the sea between them and the moon.
At length she cannot see it plainly, for the tears that fill her eyes; and then she lays her head down on his breast, and puts her arms around his neck, saying, 'Oh Walter, dearest love, I am so happy!'
Her husband holds her to his heart, and they are very quiet, and the stately ship goes on serenely."(D&S p.907)

It is only after he has lost Florence, and his business empire, that Mr Dombey realises her importance to him. In his desolation, he can finally see the gulf between his public and private worlds - the wasted energy of one and the wasted potential of the other.

"He thought now, that of all around him, she alone had never changed. His boy had faded into dust, his proud wife had sunk into a polluted creature, his flatterer and friend had been transformed into the worst of villains, his riches had melted away, the very walls that sheltered him looked on him as a stranger; she alone had turned the same mild gentle look upon him as always. Yes, to the latest and the last. She had never changed to him - nor had he ever changed to her - and she was lost."(D&S p.935)

It is true to Florence's nature, however, that she cannot be truly happy until she has rescued her beloved father, and transported him from the ruins of his domain to her new world. "Papa, dearest Papa! Pardon me, forgive me! I have come back to ask forgiveness on my knees. I never can be happy more, without it!"(D&S p.939) Mr Dombey's barriers of pride and repressed emotion collapse completely, and he learns to recognise people as individuals, worthy of his respect for their right-feeling humanity, rather than for any worldly status or wealth.

"'To Wal'r and his wife!' exclaims the Captain. 'Hooroar!' and the Captain exhibiting a strong desire to clink his glass against some other glass, Mr Dombey, with a ready hand, holds out his."(D&S p.970)

In the last paragraph of Dombey and Son, there is a suggestion that young Paul's triumph is equivalent to Mr Dombey's. The struggle for the soul of the 'House of Dombey' is, in fact, won on all three fronts. Mr Dombey and Florence are certainly successful in their newly discovered love, but what about poor Paul? Mr Dombey may have overcome his social conditioning, and learned to love before it was too late for him to repent and escape from his prison, but Paul was given the divine grace to resist that conditioning in the first place.

"Never from the mighty sea may voices rise too late, to come between us and the unseen region on the other shore! Better, far better, that they whispered of that region in our childish ears, and the swift river hurried us away!" (D&S p.976)

In the public world of Dombey and Son, Paul is the hope for the future, the continuation of the patriarchal tradition. In his fairytale identity, however, Paul is a changeling, old before his time and instinctively wise. Sitting by the fire, in "unconscious imitation"(D&S p.152) of his father, Paul asks the novel's most significant question, "Papa. I mean what's money after all?"(D&S p.152). This question would never have occurred to Mr Dombey, but it haunts him for the rest of the book. Despite Mr Dombey's efforts to "force"(D&S p.206) Paul into the patriarchal mould, to prepare him to take his rightful position in society, Paul remains other-worldly. The public, business world holds no appeal for him.

"'I mean,' said Paul, 'to put my money all together in one Bank, never try to get any more, go away into the country with my darling Florence, have a beautiful garden, fields, and woods, and live there with her all my life."(D&S p.259-260)

Paul instinctively loves Florence and all she stands for. He will not stay in a world where she is unwelcome.

One way of deconstructing Paul's identity could describe him as the ultimate in potential wasted by the patriarchal system. He is the 'doomed innocent', the sacrificial lamb on the altar of Victorian male pride. But Paul is also the beautiful image of the resurrected child, radiant in the glory of Christ's love "The light about the head is shining on me as I go!"(D&S p.297) which would be comforting in an age when many children died, no matter how much you loved them.

"Oh thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet, of Immortality! And look upon us, angels of young children, with regards not quite estranged, when the swift river bears us to the ocean!" (D&S p.297-8)

These fairytale motifs are just some of the imaginative resources that Dickens uses throughout Dombey and Son to cross time and cultural boundaries, eventually uniting the public and private worlds. They give the private plot of the 'House of Dombey and Son' a wider social significance, making a mockery of a stifling Victorian morality, which demands that children be 'seen and not heard', a message conveyed through fairytales meant to frighten, like Mrs Pipchin's "story of the little boy that was gored to death by a mad bull for asking questions."(D&S p.164)

Finally, we have Mr Dombey's grandchildren, the new young Paul and Florence. These children are the future for the House of Dombey and Son, and possibly for Victorian England as well. They will be left to develop at their own pace, guided gently into adulthood, and never "forced" or frightened, or taught to sell themselves. They are completely human, and do not share the fairytale existence. In them the public and private worlds are inseparable. Love is as natural to them as breathing.

"And so they range away again, busily, for the white-haired gentleman likes best to see the child free and stirring; and as they go about together, the story of the bond between them goes about, and follows them."(D&S p.975)

In dramatically imagining the gulf between the public and private worlds, Dickens demonstrates how a patriarchal world view based on money and status reduces everyone to objects to be bought and sold. This rampant commercialism demands the repression of emotion, as human feelings are incompatible with the exploitation of humanity. The cure proposed for this destructive sterility is love, which entails a recognition of common humanity and a respect for individuality. My answer to Paul's question "what is money after all?" is "nothing - without love!"

The biggest problem for any society is that it is made up of humans. Criticism of the social problem novels has focussed on society's 'external' problems, such as class, gender and economic inequalities.(10) There is little mention of the fact that humans have feelings, an inner life of the spirit - and that there is an unavoidably intimate relationship between these 'internal' and 'external' problems of society. At the end of Dickens' novel, only those who can love survive triumphant, and the House of "Dombey - and Son - and Daughter!"(D&S p.99) is the most triumphant of all.


1. Dickens, C., From a speech at a Banquet in His Honour : Boston, 1 Feb 1842, in Fielding, K. (ed.) p.20
2. Fitzjames Stephen, 'Mr Dickens as a Politician', Saturday Review, 3 January 1857, in Hollington, M. (ed.) p.163
3. Guy, J., The Victorian Social-Problem Novel, (1996), p.35
4. Bodenheimer, R., The Politics of Story in Victorian Social Fiction, (1988), p.8
5. Martineau, H., A History of the Thirty Years Peace 1815-1846, (1849), [in Hollington, M. (ed.), p.102-3]
6. den Hartog, D., Dickens and Romantic Psychology, (1987), p.39
7. Goldberg, M., Carlyle and Dickens, (1972), p.45
8. Palmer, W., Dickens and New Historicism, (1997), p.137
9. den Hartog, D., Dickens and Romantic Psychology, (1987), p.51
10. Bodenheimer, R., The Politics of Story in Victorian Social Fiction, (1988), Introduction; Guy, J., The Victorian Social-Problem Novel, (1996), Chapter 2


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Marker's comments.

79% - You focus on a most interesting and important aspect of Dickens' social criticism here. I'd like to have seen you do even more with the 'fairy-tale'='private' argument, however. Are there ways in which the fairy-tale motifs over-simplify issues the novel wants to raise about that private realm of feeling that must be distinguished from (though never ultimately separable from) the public realm? The argumentative line of your essay is sustained by a series of aptly chosen quotations, many of which could do with more searching analysis in order to make your drift more explicit and to put more pressure on the argument of the text itself. And how might Dickens' way of valuing what opposes the mercantile ethos relate to the climate of thought we've been considering in the seminar? You might have done more, I think, with the Bodenheimer and Guy chapters, though I see an extensive and well-chosen book list. This is promising work.

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