Claire Tomalin - Charles Dickens - A Life [V6] Unabridged

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Claire Tomalin - Charles Dickens: A Life

V6, Unabridged, Read by Alex Jennings
 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/charles-dickens-claire-tomalin/1100202777?ean=9780143122050

Overview
The tumultuous life of England's greatest novelist, beautifully rendered by unparalleled literary biographer Claire Tomalin.

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 to his public appearances, had met presidents and princes, and had amassed a fortune.

Like a hero from his novels, Dickens trod a hard path to greatness. Born into a modest middle-class family, his young life was overturned when his profligate father was sent to debtors' prison and Dickens was forced into harsh and humiliating factory work. Yet through these early setbacks he developed his remarkable eye for all that was absurd, tragic, and redemptive in London life. He set out to succeed, and with extraordinary speed and energy made himself into the greatest English novelist of the century.

Years later Dickens's daughter wrote to the author George Bernard Shaw, "If you could make the public understand that my father was not a joyous, jocose gentleman walking about the world with a plum pudding and a bowl of punch, you would greatly oblige me." Seen as the public champion of household harmony, Dickens tore his own life apart, betraying, deceiving, and breaking with friends and family while he pursued an obsessive love affair.

Charles Dickens: A Life gives full measure to Dickens's heroic stature-his huge virtues both as a writer and as a human being- while observing his failings in both respects with an unblinking eye. Renowned literary biographer Claire Tomalin crafts a story worthy of Dickens's own pen, a comedy that turns to tragedy as the very qualities that made him great-his indomitable energy, boldness, imagination, and showmanship-finally destroyed him. The man who emerges is one of extraordinary contradictions, whose vices and virtues were intertwined as surely as his life and his art.

Publishers Weekly
ΓÇ£veryone finds their own version of Charles Dickens ,ΓÇ¥ concludes award-winning British biographer Tomalin: Dickens the mesmerist, amateur thespian, political radical, protector of prostitutes, benefactor of orphans, restless walkerΓÇöall emerge from the welter of information about the writerΓÇÖs domestic arrangements, business dealings, childhood experiences, illnesses, and travels. Bolstered by citations from correspondence with and about Dickens, TomalinΓÇÖs portrait brings shadows and depth to the great Victorian novelistΓÇÖs complex personality. Tomalin (Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self) displays her deep scholarship in reviewing, for instance, the debate about DickensΓÇÖs relations with Nelly Ternan, concluding that the balance of evidence is that they were lovers. She also highlights the contrasts between his charitable actions toward strangers and his ΓÇ£casting offΓÇ¥ of several relatives from father to brothers to sons, who kept importuning him for money: ΓÇ£Once Dickens had drawn a line he was pitiless.ΓÇ¥ By the end of this biography, readers unfamiliar with Dickens will come away with a new understanding of his driven personality and his impact on literature and 19th-century political and social issues. Tomalin provides her usual rich, penetrating portrait; one can say of her book what she says of DickensΓÇÖs picture of 19th -century England: itΓÇÖs ΓÇ£crackling, full of truth and life, with his laughter, horror and indignation.ΓÇ¥ 

Kirkus Reviews
Like Shakespeare, Charles Dickens (1812ΓÇô1870) was an overachiever of genius, and his life was as eventful, dramatic and character-filled as any of his novels. This rich new biography brilliantly captures his world.

Acclaimed biographer Tomalin (Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man,2007, etc.) has always hunted big literary game (Hardy,Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, etc.), and here she goes after one of the biggest and most complex. Dickens once told a visiting Dostoevsky that his heroes and villains came from the two people inside him: "one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite." However, there were many more dimensions to Dickens' character. Besides being a tireless writer of long, complicated novels and hundreds of articles, an editor of a succession of magazines and a frustrated actor whose public readings became standing-room-only events, he was ebullient, charming, radical, instinctively sympathetic to the poor, generous to friends but unforgiving once you got on his bad side. At home, he was a domineering husband to his long-suffering wife and a distant father to his ten children. Dickens certainly would have appreciated Tomalin's keen eye for scene, character and narrative pace. Ever the deft critic, she notes how the characters inMartin Chuzzlewitare "set up like toys programmed to run on course," and thatHard Times"fails to take note of its own message that people must be amused." Having written previously on Dickens' disastrous late-life affair (The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, 1991), Tomalin also displays considerable detective work to bolster the possibility that Dickens and his other woman had a secret child who died in infancy.

Superbly organized, comprehensive and engrossing from start to finishΓÇöa strong contender for biography of the year.		
Claire Tomalin - Charles Dickens - A Life [V6] Unabridged/109 - Charles Dickens - A Life.mp3 2.564 MB
Claire Tomalin - Charles Dickens - A Life [V6] Unabridged/175 - Charles Dickens - A Life.mp3 2.562 MB
Claire Tomalin - Charles Dickens - A Life [V6] Unabridged/145 - Charles Dickens - A Life.mp3 2.547 MB
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