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Dickens ***SIGNED***

Ackroyd, Peter

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ISBN 10: 1856190005 / ISBN 13: 9781856190008
Published by Sinclair-Stevenson, London, 1990
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Attic Books (Cheltenham, GLOS, United Kingdom)

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About this Item

- 240 mm. Cloth hardcover, gilt titling. Illustrated. B&W photographic plates. Pp. xvi, 1195. ***SIGNED*** on title page with author's presentation: "For Catherine from Peter, September 10, 1990". Minor edge wear, rubbing and creasing to DJ. A few mild marks to fore and lower edge. This is quite a heavy volume. Extra shipping charges may be incurred for delivery outside the United Kingdom. Overall, VG / VG. Bookseller Inventory # 001844

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dickens ***SIGNED***

Publisher: Sinclair-Stevenson, London

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Publisher's Cloth

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Author Presentation [Signed by

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Charles Dickens's life is a story of rags to riches, complete with bankruptcy, prison, forced child labour, and fame and fortune overshadowed by guilt and secrecy - rather like the plot of one of his novels. Indeed, Dickens drew strongly on his own experiences as the source for much of his fiction. Here the author offers a fresh view of Dickens's remarkable life story. Dickens's novels brim with references: they are located in the places he lived in and visited, peopled with characters he knew, and inspired by the preoccupations that haunted his mind. Ackroyd highlights the reality of Victorian life, warts and all, and the issues that sparked Dickens's fervent calls for social reform; and he also charts the influential landmarks of that era, such as the coming of the railways, the effects upon society of the industrial revolution and the expansion of the British Empire. Dickens was a complex personality. He apparently had everything - fame, success, wealth - but he died harbouring the great sadness he had carried with him all his life, and he was humble enough to forbid a grand funeral. Like many eminent Victorians, he led a double life. Although he insisted that nothing in the newspapers he edited should offend his middle-class readers, he regularly indulged in dubious night-time escapades with fellow-author Wilkie Collins and, for the final 13 years of his life, kept a secret mistress, Ellen Ternan.

From Library Journal:

"Dickens saw reality as a reflection of his own fiction," contends Ackroyd, novelist and biographer of T.S. Eliot ( T.S. Eliot: A Life , LJ 11/15/84) and Ezra Pound ( Ezra Pound , Thames & Hudson, 1987). This massive life and times attempts to re-create Dickens's internal and external realities. Ackroyd makes better use of the autobiographical memoranda first published in John Forster's Life (1872-74) than did Edgar Johnson in his Charles Dickens (S. & S., 1952), and the interweaving of critical comments with his presentation of Dickens's personal and social preoccupations often yields more insights than does Johnson's technique of interlarded essays. The same vast mental and physical energies that led Dickens to triumph drove him to an obsessive need for total control of all aspects of his personal and professional life. Furthermore, his sensibility was formed in a pre-Victorian England that was often squalid and brutal, and which frequently relied on role-playing as a guide to conduct. Ackroyd's great strength is his ability to draw the reader into a sensory apprehension of this world. A lack of footnotes will keep scholars turning to Johnson and Fred Kaplan's shorter and far less evocative Dickens: A Life ( LJ 9/1/88), but this engrossing work is enthusiastically recommended for academic and large public libraries.
- Barbara J. Dunlap, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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