Charles Dickens: A Life

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Penguin Books Limited, Oct 6, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 576 pages

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jonfaith - www.librarything.com

I know things about my father's character that no one else ever knew; he was not a good man, but he was not a fast man, but he was wonderful! Katey Dickens speaking about her father. Reading this in a ... Read full review

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User Review  - hardlyhardy - LibraryThing

“Leaving out the women in Dickens's life made appreciation easier.” — Claire Tomalin, “Charles Dickens: A Life” Charles Dickens was an extraordinary man, but he had one ordinary fault: He always ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Claire Tomalin was literary editor of the New Statesman then the Sunday Times before leaving to become a full-time writer. Her first book, The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, won the Whitbread First Book Award, and she has since written a number of highly acclaimed and bestselling biographies. The Invisible Woman, a definitive account of Dickens' relationship with the actress Ellen Ternan, won three major literary awards, and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self was Whitbread Book of the Year in 2002. Claire Tomalin is married to the writer Michael Frayn.

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