Charles Dickens, a man so representative of his age as to have become considered synonymous with it, demands to be read in context. This book illuminates the worlds – social, political, economic and artistic – in which Dickens worked. Dickens’s professional life encompassed work as a novelist, journalist, editor, public reader and passionate advocate of social reform. This volume offers a detailed treatment of Dickens in each of these roles, exploring the central features of Dickens’s age, work and legacy, and uncovering sometimes surprising faces of the man and of the range of Dickens industries. Through 45 digestible short chapters written by a leading expert on each topic, a rounded picture emerges of Dickens’s engagement with his time, the influence of his works and the ways he has been read, adapted and re-imagined from the nineteenth century to the present.