A major new biography of Charles Dickens, tracing the year that would transform his life and times
*BY THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF BECOMING DICKENS AND THE STORY OF ALICE*
'It is hard to imagine a better book on Dickens' NEW STATESMAN
The year is 1851. It's a time of radical change in Britain, when industrial miracles and artistic innovations rub shoulders with political unrest, poverty and disease. It's also a turbulent time in the private life of Charles Dickens, as he copes with a double bereavement and early signs that his marriage is falling apart. But this formative year will become perhaps the greatest turning point in Dickens's career, as he embraces his calling as a chronicler of ordinary people's lives, and develops a new form of writing that will reveal just how interconnected the world is becoming.
The Turning Point transports us into the foggy streets of Dickens's London, closely following the twists and turns of a year that would come to define him, and forever alter Britain's relationship with the world. Fully illustrated, and brimming with fascinating details about the larger-than-life man who wrote Bleak House, this is the closest look yet at one of the greatest literary personalities ever to have lived.
'A startling and exciting writer' A. S. BYATT, SPECTATOR
This tremendous book dazzles and delights... it's full of discoveries. A glorious book; revealing and unravelling Charles Dickens before our very eyes, melding his life and his work, using scholarship, wit and passion - a triumph.
This immersive biography, by the author of the Costa-shortlisted The Story of Alice, had me hooked... published in a sumptuous package, with illustrations throughout.
Clever and witty, packed with fiercely academic research and erudite analysis, but written in featherlight, elegant prose.
The Turning Point...builds incrementally towards Bleak House...[and] makes for a very satisfying finale. A manuscript page of the novel, dense with crossings-out of emendations, is reproduced as evidence of Dickens's painstaking process of creation. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst has taken pains of his own and this wonderfully entertaining book is the result.
Douglas-Fairhurst is a shrewd, amusing and original guide... [he] gives you fascinating facts... [and] a brisk and brilliant analysis of Bleak House.