Charles Dickens was a phenomenon: a hardworking journalist, the father of ten children, a tireless walker and traveller, a supporter of liberal social causes, and a great novelist. This book paints a fresh portrait of Dickens, capturing the complex character of this great genius.
“Charles Dickens” is the acclaimed definitive biography by bestselling author Claire Tomalin
. Charles Dickens was a phenomenon: a demonicly 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.
From the award-winning author of “Samuel Pepys”, “Charles Dickens: A Life” paints an unforgettable portrait of Dickens, capturing brilliantly the complex character of this great genius. If you loved “Great Expectations”, “Oliver Twist” and “A Christmas Carol”, this book is invaluable reading. “By far the most humane and imaginatively sympathetic account yet for the general reader”. (Amanda Craig, “New Statesman”). Claire Tomalin
is the award-winning author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including: “The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft”; “Shelley and His World”; “Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life”; “The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens”; “Mrs Jordan's Profession”; “Jane Austen: A Life”; “Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self”; “Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man” and, most recently, “Charles Dickens: A Life”. A former literary editor of the “New Statesman” and the “Sunday Times”, she is married to the playwright and novelist Michael Frayn.
was born in London in 1933. She has worked in publishing and journalism all her life, becoming literary editor first of the New Statesman and then of the Sunday Times, which she left in 1986. She is the author of, among other books: The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft; Shelley and His World Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life; The Invisible Woman and the extraordinarily successful biography of Samuel Pepys. Other books written for Penguin are: Jane Austen: A Life and a collection of memoirs entitled Several Strangers.