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.
Provoked by the horrors he saw every day, Charles Dickens wrote novels that were originally intended as instruments for social change — to save his country’s children.Charles Dickens is best known for his contributions to the world of literature, but during his young life, Dickens witnessed terrible things that stayed with him: families starving in doorways, babies being “dropped” on streets by mothers too poor to care for them, and a stunning lack of compassion from the upper class. After his family went into debt and he found himself working at a shoe-polish factory, Dickens soon realized that the members of the lower class were no different than he, and, even worse, they were given no chance to better themselves. It was then that he decided to use his greatest talent, his writing ability, to tell the stories of those who had no voice.
A young orphan deals with hardship in his early life at a boarding school and living with a controlling aunt.
In this tale, first published serially in 1841 and 1842, Dickens follows Nell Trent, an angelic and unfailingly virtuous girl of “nearly fourteen” and her grandfather as they navigate a world populated by villains, criminals and ne’er-do-wells. The public response at the time equalled modern reactions to the Harry Potter books, the audience rapt to learn of Nell’s fate. Does she live a life of comfort, of which her grandfather dreams? Or does fate have something less noble in store for poor Nell?
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This long-awaited biography, twenty years after the last major account, uncovers Dickens the man through the profession in which he excelled. Drawing on a lifetime’s study of this prodigiously brilliant figure, Michael Slater explores the personal and emotional life, the high-profile public activities, the relentless travel, the charitable works, the amateur theatricals and the astonishing productivity. But the core focus is Dickens? career as a writer and professional author, covering not only his big novels but also his phenomenal output of other writing–letters, journalism, shorter fiction, plays, verses, essays, writings for children, travel books, speeches, and scripts for his public readings, and the relationships among them. Slater’s account, rooted in deep research but written with affection, clarity, and economy, illuminates the context of each of the great novels while locating the life of the author within the imagination that created them. It highlights Dickens? boundless energy, his passion for order and fascination with disorder, his organizational genius, his deep concern for the poor and outrage at indifference towards them, his susceptibility towards young women, his love of Christmas and fairy tales, and his hatred of tyranny. Richly and precisely illustrated with many rare images, this masterly work on the complete Dickens, man and writer, becomes the indispensable guide and companion to one of the greatest novelists in the languag
One of the finest novels by iconic British author Charles Dickens, this Victorian tale follows the good-natured orphan Pip as he makes his way through life. As a boy, Pip crosses paths with a convict named Magwitch, a man who will heavily influence Pip’s adulthood. Meanwhile, the earnest young man falls for the beautiful Estella, the adoptive daughter of the affluent and eccentric Miss Havisham. Widely considered to be Dickens’s last great book, the story is steeped in romance and features the writer’s familiar themes of crime, punishment, and societal struggle.
Award-winning author Claire Tomalin sets the standard for sophisticated and popular biography, having written lives of Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, and Thomas Hardy, among others. Here she tackles the best recognized and loved man of nineteenth-century England, Charles Dickens; a literary leviathan whose own difficult path to greatness inspired the creation of classic novels such as Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Hard Times.
From his sensational public appearances to the obsessive love affair that led him to betray, deceive, and break with those closest to him, Charles Dickens: A Life is a triumph of the biographer’s craft, a comedy that turns to tragedy in a story worthy of Dickens’ own pen.
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