Vlock, Deborah (Michele) 1963-

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VLOCK, Deborah (Michele) 1963-


Born January 3, 1963. Education: State University of New York, Albany, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1985; Northeastern University, M.A., 1987; Brandeis University, Ph.D., 1994.


Office—Blodgett Communications, 26 Davis Rd., Belmont, MA 02478; fax: 760-875-7426.


Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, instructor in English, 1995; Boston College, Boston, MA, assistant professor of English, 1995-97; Woonteiler Ink, Boston, MA, account executive; Arnold Public Relations, Boston, account executive, 1998-99; Object Design, Inc., Burlington, MA, senior public relations specialist, 1999; public relations manager at eXcelon Corporation and Newmediary; Blodgett Communications, Boston, public relations executive, 2001—.


Dickens, Novel Reading, and the Victorian Popular Theatre, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1998.


Prior to a career in communications and public relations, Deborah Vlock taught literature at Boston College and Brandeis University. In her 1998 book Dickens, Novel Reading, and the Victorian Popular Theatre, she advances the provocative theory that popular theater not only inspired early novelists like Charles Dickens, but actually created a novel-reading public by circulating plays in book form.

As Vlock shows, many of Dickens' characters had precursors in stock comic figures that were familiar to the reading public, although of course they were more complex in his novels. Unfortunately, according to Victorian Studies reviewer Edwin M. Eigner, her "book offers no new or interesting readings of the novels or their characters. On the contrary … the comparisons the book attempts to make between characters in Dickens and stock comic figures from the stage tend to render figures like Silas Wegg and Flora Finching less rather than more interesting."

Vlock also discusses the ways in which "patter," an eccentric and often illogical way of speaking that easily marks male villains or flighty spinsters on the stage, was used by Dickens for comic effect but also to stereotype and ultimately devalue certain types of characters. Indeed, this attempt to marginalize such figures as the single woman is, as Vlock sees it, a method of social regulation that Dickens shares with the stage.



Dickensian, Volume 96, 2000, Paul Schlicke, review of Dickens, Novel Reading, and the Victorian Popular Theatre, pp. 50-52.

Victorian Studies, autumn, 2000, Edwin M. Eigner, review of Dickens, Novel Reading, and the Victorian Popular Theatre, p. 140.


Blodgett Communications Web site,http://www.blodgettcommunications.com/ (November 6, 2004), "Deborah Vlock."*