The engaging biography of one of the most celebrated and enduring authors of Western literature
Charles Dickens grew up in harsh poverty and became one of the world’s most beloved authors. Biographer Fred Kaplan takes a brilliant, multifaceted approach in his examination of Dickens’s life: his fraught marriage and relationships; the ever-present effects of his humble beginnings; his extensive, but carefully managed, public life; and his friendships with famous writers. Dickens unearths the complex passions that drove both the man and his work, illuminating why the legendary author—just like the characters in his fiction—has remained a mammoth figure in Western literature.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
- Biographies and Memoirs
“Well proportioned, persuasive in its judgments and consistently, grippingly readable.” —The New York Times
“Kaplan has spent ten years preparing and writing this book; his achievement is as rare, as wonderful, as the Dickens he brings to life. We are all the beneficiaries of this exceptional biography.” —Los Angeles Times “Dickens by Fred Kaplan may do for our greatest writer after Shakespeare what Ellman did for Oscar Wilde . . . A brilliantly readable work and one essential for all of us who care about the man who, for all his faults, remained ‘The Inimitable’ and ‘The Sparkler’ to the end.” —The Spectator “Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mr. Kaplan’s biography is its picture of Dickens’s professional life and friendships: one senses anew the extraordinary competitive vigor of the Victorian imperial personality. Mr. Kaplan’s objective presentation of the facts about the colossus of the age gives us a far better sense of its shape and scale than any facile charm might conjure up. His clarity is the highest form of respect and affection for his astonishing subject.” —The Wall Street Journal
About the author
Fred Kaplan (b. 1937) has written biographies of Charles Dickens, Henry James, Abraham Lincoln, Gore Vidal, and Mark Twain, as well as Sacred Tears, a study of sentimentality in Victorian literature. His biography Thomas Carlyle (1983) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.