This biography uncovers Dickens the man through the profession in which he excelled. The author explores the personal and emotional life, the high-profile public activities, the relentless travel, the charitable works, the amateur theatricals, and the astonishing productivity of this prodigiously brilliant figure. The core focus is Dickens’s career as a professional writer, covering not only his big novels but also his phenomenal output of other writing—letters, journalism, shorter fiction, plays, verses, essays, writings for children, travel books, speeches, and scripts for his public readings, and the relationships among them.
The biography highlights Dickens’s boundless energy, his passion for order and fascination with disorder, his organizational genius, his deep concern for the poor and outrage at indifference towards them, his susceptibility towards young women, his love of Christmas and fairy tales, and his hatred of tyranny. Richly illustrated with many rare images, this masterly work is an indispensable guide and companion to one of the greatest novelists in the language.