by Jane Smiley
From a bitter and poverty-stricken childhood to a career as the most acclaimed and best loved writer in the English-speaking world, Charles Dickens ... Show synopsis From a bitter and poverty-stricken childhood to a career as the most acclaimed and best loved writer in the English-speaking world, Charles Dickens had a life as full of incident as any of those he created in his novels of life in Victorian England. His well-documented life - the enormous quantity of work, his public readings and his difficult relationships have always made fascinating reading. As a novelist herself, Jane Smiley approaches her subject from a new angle making this biography a must for both aficionados and new recruits. Instead of tracing the events in his life chronologically, she reveals things only as he did - sometimes years after the event. Thus we see him as his contemporaries would have done and get to know him more intimately than ever before. At the same time Smiley offers interpretations of almost all of Dickens' major works showing how 'his novels shaped his life as much as his life shaped his novels'.