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Letters of Charles Dickens 1833-1870 by Charles Dickens


Letters of Charles Dickens 1833-1870 by Charles Dickens

This selection from the letters of Charles Dickens (1812-70) was edited (as it says on the title page) 'by his sister-in-law and his eldest daughter'. The former was Georgina Hogarth (1827-1917), who stayed in Dickens' household and cared for the family when the author separated from his wife, her sister, in 1858; the latter was Mary (1838-96), known in the family as Mamie, his favourite child. They had published a three-volume edition in 1880, and a 'New Edition' in 1882; this reissue is of the single-volume third edition of 1893. The collection was seen as a 'supplement' to Forster's life of Dickens (also reissued in this series). Inevitably, it focuses on the positive and dynamic sides of Dickens' complex character, and gives a vivid portrait of a man juggling family life, writing, editing, travelling, amateur theatricals and public readings from his works with tremendous energy and verve.

About the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Hampshire, during the new industrial age, which gave birth to theories of Karl Marx. Dickens's father was a clerk in the navy pay office. He was well paid but often ended in financial troubles. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and then to Chatham, where he received some education. The schoolmaster William Giles gave special attention to Dickens, who made rapid progress. In 1824, at the age of 12, Dickens was sent to work for some months at a blacking factory, Hungerford Market, London, while his father John was in Marshalea debtor's prison. "My father and mother were quite satisfied," Dickens later recalled bitterly. "They could hardly have been more so, if I had been twenty years of age, distinguished at a grammar-school, and going to Cambridge." Later this period found its way to the novel LITTLE DORRITT (1855-57). John Dickens paid his £40 debt with the money he inherited from his mother; she died at the age of seventy-nine when he was still in prison.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th November 2011


Charles Dickens

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Cambridge University Press


778 pages


Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900



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