Includes bibliographical references (pages -492) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
The inimitable -- The sins of the fathers -- A London education -- Becoming Boz -- The journalist -- Four publishers and a wedding -- 'Till death do us part' -- Blackguards and brigands -- Killing Nell -- Conquering America -- Setbacks -- Travels, dreams, and visions -- Crisis -- Dombey, with interruptions -- A home -- A personal history -- Fathers and sons -- Children at work -- Little Dorrit and friends -- Wayward and unsettled -- Stormy weather -- Secrets, mysteries, and lies -- The Bebelle life -- Wise daughters -- The Chief -- 'Things look like work again' -- Pickswick, Pecknicks, Pickwicks -- The remembrance of my friends.
When Charles Dickens died in 1870, The Times of London successfully campaigned for his burial in Westminster Abbey, the final resting place of England's kings and heroes. Thousands flocked to mourn the best recognized and loved man of nineteenth-century England. His books had made them laugh, shown them the squalor and greed of English life, and also the power of personal virtue and the strength of ordinary people. In his last years Dickens drew adoring crowds, had met presidents and princes, and had amassed a fortune. Yet like his heroes, Dickens trod a hard path to greatness. His young life was overturned when his profligate father was sent to debtors' prison and Dickens was forced into harsh factory work--but this led to his remarkable eye for all that was absurd, tragic, and redemptive in London life. This biography gives full measure to Dickens's stature--his virtues both as a writer and as a human being--while observing his failings in both respects with an unblinking eye.--From publisher description.