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Claire Tomalin, “Charles Dickens, A Life”

19 March 2012 20,958 views No Comment

2012 is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens and there have been several efforts at commemorating this: BBC shows, Google Doodle, and Claire Tomalin’s biography which as published late 2011. I wasn’t an avid Dickens fan, and I’ve not always ‘got on’ with biographies but this book has reversed both of those perspectives.

Dickens’s life was rich, active and intriguing. He pursued much with high energy and skill. In his 58 years Dickens fathered ten (possibly eleven) children, wrote twenty novels plus short stories and plays, edited several newspapers, directed & acted in plays, managed a home for former prostitutes, moved dozens of times around London, the South East, France & Italy and regularly walked 15+ miles for relaxation.

So, Tomalin has a lot to work with here, the question over the eleventh child being a very hot topic alone. Her writing is exceptional, she weaves the facts with gathered opinions and anecdotes to really tell a character-led story that draws the reader in. I wept over the chapter of Dickens’s death, they both totally had me.

This is a captivating, highly recommendable read. Surprise yourself…

Tomalin’s book isn’t available as an e-book, you can buy it here on Amazon. Instead Great Expectations here for you.

Book copy taken from the truly excellent Project Gutenberg, ‘the first producer of free ebooks’. Legal-ness:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

Lay it on me... is this neat or nerd..??

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