Department or Program

Comparative Literature

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Tim Peltason

Additional Advisor(s)

Carlos Ramos


In this essay I explore the use of the city settings in Bleak House and Fortunata y Jacinta— the intimate interior spaces and the public exterior venues enlivened, elucidated, placed in the background, and propelled to the forefront by the authors, who carefully select and craft the locales in which societies at large and individual characters live, locations that actively drive the narratives. How do Pérez Galdós and Dickens depict Madrid and London, their complex interiors and streets? In what ways do characters inhabit and move through these spaces? And, what do we learn from the settings in Fortunata y Jacinta and in Bleak House, and from tracing the evolving relationships that the characters maintain with their city environments?