Hardback : 06 Oct 2011
Charles Dickens was a phenomenon: a demonically hardworking journalist, the father of ten children, a tireless walker and traveller, a supporter of liberal social causes, but most of all a great novelist - the creator of characters who live immortally in the English imagination: the Artful Dodger, Mr Pickwick, Pip, David Copperfield, Little Nell, Lady Dedlock, and many more.
At the age of twelve he was sent to work in a blacking factory by his affectionate but feckless parents. From these unpromising beginnings, he rose to scale all the social and literary heights, entirely through his own efforts. When he died, the world mourned, and he was buried - against his wishes - in Westminster Abbey.
Yet the brilliance concealed a divided character: a republican, he disliked America; sentimental about the family in his writings, he took up passionately with a young actress; usually generous, he cut off his impecunious children.
Claire Tomalin, author of Whitbread Book of the Year Samuel Pepys, paints an unforgettable portrait of Dickens, capturing brilliantly the complex character of this great genius. Charles Dickens: A Life is the examination of Dickens we deserve.
Also available in November is the Clothbound boxed set of the Major Works of Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomlin
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‘Gripping, galloping... Tomalin has captured Dickens, in sun and shadow, with all the full-hearted exuberance, generosity and keen wit that he merits.’ Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
'She has the gift of being able to set a scene and a time with compelling vividness. This is a superb biography of a great writer' William Boyd, Observer
'Clear-eyed, sympathetic and scholarly, she spreads the whole canvas, alive with incident and detail, with places and people. It is wonderfully done' Economist
'With Claire Tomalin as our guide, the life of Charles Dickens, 200 years after his birth, reads as newly minted as one of his novels' Sunday Express
‘Tomalin is the nimblest of narrators... with a steady gaze, she does her utmost to single out the many Charles Dickenses that made up the man. Magnificent’ Chris Moss, Time Out
‘Hypnotically vivid...’ Jenny Uglow, The Guardian
‘A book that goes to the heart of the mystery of Dickens as a writer.’ A N Wilson, New Statesman
‘Flawless…superb.’ William Boyd, Observer
‘Vivid, illuminating…fascinating.’ John Carey, Sunday Times
‘Superb…meticulous…fine’ Miriam Margoyles, The Times
‘Deft, acute, magisterial.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘The inimitable biographer.’ Independent
Amazon placed Charles Dickens at number 6 in their list of their favourite books this year! They said:
“Charles Dickens: A Life gives full measure to Dickens's heroic stature--his huge virtues both as a writer and as a human being--while observing his failings in both respects with an unblinking eye. Renowned literary biographer Claire Tomalin crafts a story worthy of Dickens's own pen, a comedy that turns to tragedy as the very qualities that made him great--his indomitable energy, boldness, imagination and showmanship-- finally destroyed him. The man who emerges is one of extraordinary contradictions, whose vices and virtues were intertwined as surely as his life and his art.”
Size : 153 x 234mm
Pages : 576
Published : 06 Oct 2011
Publisher : Viking Adult
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