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Life of Charles Dickens

Frank T. Marzials

Book Overview: 

Early biography of Charles Dickens published just 17 years after Dickens' death.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .His genius did not lie in that direction. To have forced him unduly into the world of books would have made him, doubtless, an average scholar, but might have weakened his hold on life. Such a risk was certainly not worth the running. Fate arranged it otherwise. What he was above all was a student of the world of men, a passionately keen observer of the ways of humanity. Men were to be his books, his special branch of knowledge; and in order to graduate and take high honours in that school, I repeat, he could have had no better training. Not only had he passed through a range of most unwonted experiences, experiences calculated to quicken to the uttermost his superb faculties of observation and insight; but he had been placed in sympathetic communication with a strange assortment of characters, lying quite out of the usual ken of the literary classes. Knowledge and sympathy, the [Pg 38]seeing eye and the feeling heart—were these nothing to have acquired?

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Community Reviews

DNF - got about 32% of the way through, after skipping over and trying to avoid the parts concerning the Dickens’ books that I haven’t yet read, because plotlines etc. were being given away - I gave up as I was bored with it :(

Written 17 years after Dickens death, it is very insightful. Covers each of the novels in depth.