A charming memento of the Victorian era’s literary colossus, The Daily Charles Dickens is a literary almanac for the ages. Tenderly and irreverently anthologized by Dickens scholar James R. Kincaid, this collection mines the British author’s beloved novels and Christmas stories as well as his lesser-known sketches and letters for “an around-the-calendar set of jolts, soothings, blandishments, and soarings.” A bedside companion to dip into year round, this book introduces each month with a longer seasonal quote, while concise bits of wisdom and whimsy mark each day. Hopping gleefully from Esther Summerson’s abandonment by her mother in Bleak House to a meditation on the difficult posture of letter-writing in The Pickwick Papers, this anthology displays the wide range of Dickens’s stylistic virtuosity—his humor and his deep tragic sense, his ear for repetition, and his genius at all sorts of voices. Even the devotee will find between these pages a mix of old friends and strangers—from Oliver Twist and Ebenezer Scrooge to the likes of Lord Coodle, Sir Thomas Doodle, Mrs. Todgers, and Edwin Drood—as well as a delightful assortment of the some of the novelist’s most famous, peculiar, witty, and incisive passages, tailored to fit the season. To give one particularly apt example: David Copperfield blunders, in a letter of apology to Agnes Wickfield, “I began one note, in a six-syllable line, ‘Oh, do not remember’—but that associated itself with the fifth of November, and became an absurdity.” Never Pecksniffian or Gradgrindish, this daily dose of Dickens crystallizes the novelist’s agile humor and his reformist zeal alike. This is a book to accompany you through the best of times and the worst of times.
This long-awaited biography, twenty years after the last major account, uncovers Dickens the man through the profession in which he excelled. Drawing on a lifetime's study of this prodigiously brilliant figure, Michael Slater explores the personal and emotional life, the high-profile public activities, the relentless travel, the charitable works, the amateur theatricals and the astonishing productivity. But the core focus is Dickens? career as a writer and professional author, 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. Slater's account, rooted in deep research but written with affection, clarity, and economy, illuminates the context of each of the great novels while locating the life of the author within the imagination that created them. It highlights Dickens? 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 and precisely illustrated with many rare images, this masterly work on the complete Dickens, man and writer, becomes the indispensable guide and companion to one of the greatest novelists in the languag
From reviews of volume five: "The appearance of a volume of the Pilgrim Edition of Dickens's letters is an event of great moment in the world of English literary scholarship.... Indispensable to the scholar and of absorbing interest to the general reader."--English Studies. "Any true admirer of Dickens ought to be left both stunned and delighted by the wealth of material in this fifth volume of the monumental Pilgrim Letters."--The Dickensian. "Generous in scope, diverse in subject matter, rich in annotation, the work is a central resource not simply for devotees of Dickens but for students of virtually every aspect of 19th-century civilization."--Nineteenth-Century Fiction. The sixth volume features 1,592 letters--668 of them previously unpublished--covering 1850 to 1852, years of great creativity in which Dickens finished David Copperfield, and began work on Bleak House.
What was it like to be Charles Dickens? His letters are the nearest we can get to a Dickens autobiography: vivid close-up snapshots of a life lived at maximum intensity. This is the first selection to be made from the magisterial twelve-volume British Academy Pilgrim Edition of his letters. From over fourteen thousand, four hundred and fifty have been cherry-picked to give readers the best essence of 'the Sparkler of Albion'. Dickens was a man with ten times the energy of ordinary mortals. There seem to have been twice the number of hours in his day, and he threw himself into letter-writing as he did into everything else. This eagerly awaited selection takes us straight to the heart of his life, to show us Dickens at first hand. Here he is writing out of the heat of the moment: as a novelist, journalist, and magazine editor; as a social campaigner and traveller in Europe and America, and as friend, lover, husband, and father. Reading and writing letters punctuated the rhythms of Dickens's day. 'I walk about brimful of letters', he told a friend. He claimed to write 'at the least, a dozen a day'. Sometimes it was a chore but more often a pleasure: an outlet for high spirits, sparkling wit, and caustic commentary - always as seen through his highly individual and acutely observing eye. Whether you dip in or read straight through, this selection of his letters creates afresh the brilliance of being Dickens, and the sheer pleasure of being in his company.
The Oxford Handbook of Charles Dickens is a comprehensive and up-to-date collection on Dickens's life and works. It includes original chapters on all of Dickens's writing and new considerations of his contexts, from the social, political, and economic to the scientific, commercial, and religious. The contributions speak in new ways about his depictions of families, environmental degradation, and improvements of the industrial age, as well as the law, charity, and communications. His treatment of gender, his mastery of prose in all its varieties and genres, and his range of affects and dramatization all come under stimulating reconsideration. His understanding of British history, of empire and colonization, of his own nation and foreign ones, and of selfhood and otherness, like all the other topics, is explained in terms easy to comprehend and profoundly relevant to global modernity.
Great Expectations has had a long, active and sometimes surprising life since its first serialized appearance in All the Year Round between 1 December 1860 and 3 August 1861. In this new publishing and reception history, Mary Hammond demonstrates that while Dickens’s thirteenth novel can tell us a great deal about the dynamic mid-Victorian moment into which it was born, its afterlife beyond the nineteenth-century Anglophone world reveals the full extent of its versatility. Re-assessing generations of Dickens scholarship and using newly discovered archival material, Hammond covers the formative history of Great Expectations' early years, analyses the extent and significance of its global reach, and explores the ways in which it has functioned as literature and stage, TV, film and radio drama from its first appearance to the latest film version of 2012. Appendices include contemporary reviews and comprehensive bibliographies of adaptations and translations. The book is a rich resource for scholars and students of Dickens; of comparative literature; and of publishing, readership, and media history.