Charles Dickens - Michael Slater

To read Michael Slater’s new biography of Charles Dickens (Yale Univ., $35) is to feel distinctly lazy. Like the steam-powered empire of which London was the heart, Dickens’s writing life was a marvel of industry and innovation.  Sometimes working on one novel in the morning and another in the afternoon, in a desperate sprint to turn in installments ahead of printers’ deadlines, he made time to found several periodicals, propitiate his publishers, spearhead social campaigns, and produce increasingly elaborate theatricals.  His letters, which Slater quotes generously, demonstrate that Dickens found time for elaborate comic conceits and raillery (pretending to be desperately in love with a young Queen Victoria, for instance), as well as providing advice and practical assistance to less established writers, including a young Edgar Allan Poe. Slater also offers new insights about how a keen sense of childhood neglect shaped all of Dickens’s relationships, the most passionate and enduring of which was with the reading public he helped to create.

Charles Dickens Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300170931
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - May 31st, 2011

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