Dinah Craik, John Halifax, Gentleman

Karen Bourrier (University of Calgary)
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Published in 1856,

John Halifax, Gentleman

was the most important work of Dinah Mulock Craik’s career and one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Consistently in print from the time of its publication to the present, it tells a quintessentially Victorian story of rags-to-riches. Craik innovates in the narrative form of the novel, as the story of the eponymous hero’s rise from collecting raw hides in a tan yard to Captain of Industry is told through the point of view of his disabled friend and companion, Phineas Fletcher.

Historical Themes and Narrative Form

Historical Themes and Narrative Form

The historical backdrop of Craik’s novel reinforces her argument that a true gentleman is known by his actions rather than by any accident of birth. John, an orphan, is born in

1898 words

Citation: Bourrier, Karen. "John Halifax, Gentleman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 December 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16480, accessed 20 April 2024.]

16480 John Halifax, Gentleman 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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