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Charles Dickens: A Life

Claire Tomalin.
Publisher Penguin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.75 inches
ISBN 9781594203091
Pages/Publication Date 527/2011
Daedalus Item Code 40998
This item is not available.
(Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Book Award) The winner of the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year for her biography Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Claire Tomalin is also renowned for her biographies of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, and Nelly Ternan in her relationship with Charles Dickens. Here Tomalin finally gives us the life of Dickens himself, a comedy that turns to tragedy in a story worthy of Dickens' own pen.

"As Claire Tomalin demonstrates in her vivid and moving new biography, Dickens's own life was rich in the attributes we call "Dickensian"—shameless melodrama, gargantuan appetites, reversals of fortune.... To encompass this frenzy, Tomalin keeps the story racing. She brings Dickens to life in all his maddening contradictions.... Dickens walks off the page, and the pace never flags. Tomalin accomplishes this resurrection in a mere 417 pages of text, supplemented by dozens of illustrations, several maps of Dickens's London and a helpful dramatis personae.... If you plan to read only one biography of the most popular Victorian writer, it should be this one."—Washington Post

"Clear-eyed, sympathetic and scholarly, she spreads the whole canvas, alive with incident and detail, with places and people. She writes of publishers, illustrators, collaborators and all Dickens's intersecting circles of friends and family. It is wonderfully done."—Economist (London)

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