The tumultuous life of England's greatest novelist, beautifully
rendered by unparalleled literary biographer Claire Tomalin.
When Charles Dickens died in 1870, "The Times" of London
successfully campaigned for his burial in Westminster Abbey, the
final resting place of England's kings and heroes. Thousands
flocked to mourn the best recognized and loved man of
nineteenth-century England. His books had made them laugh, shown
them the squalor and greed of English life, and also the power of
personal virtue and the strength of ordinary people. In his last
years Dickens drew adoring crowds to his public appearances, had
met presidents and princes, and had amassed a fortune.
Like a hero from his novels, Dickens trod a hard path to
greatness. Born into a modest middle-class family, his young life
was overturned when his profligate father was sent to debtors'
prison and Dickens was forced into harsh and humiliating factory
work. Yet through these early setbacks he developed his remarkable
eye for all that was absurd, tragic, and redemptive in London life.
He set out to succeed, and with extraordinary speed and energy made
himself into the greatest English novelist of the century.
Years later Dickens's daughter wrote to the author George
Bernard Shaw, "If you could make the public understand that my
father was not a joyous, jocose gentleman walking about the world
with a plum pudding and a bowl of punch, you would greatly oblige
me." Seen as the public champion of household harmony, Dickens tore
his own life apart, betraying, deceiving, and breaking with friends
and family while he pursued an obsessive love affair.
"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.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!