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The abridged edition of Peter Ackroyd's classic biography of Dickens, reissued with a stunning new cover look to celebrate Dickens' bicentenary

Dickens was a landmark biography when first published in 1990. This specially edited shorter edition takes the reader into the life of one of the world's greatest writers.

Here, Ackroyd attempts to peel away the mask of a man whose life was outwardly a picture of Victorian rectitude, but whose love life was as complicated (and unconventional) as any modern writer's. Dickens had everything - fame, success and riches - but he died harbouring a deep sadness he had experienced all his life. He was a man of mercurial character, had enormous vitality and humour, but he also had a sense of loss and longing that would constantly appear in his work. Like many eminent Victorians, he led a double life: although he insisted that nothing in the newspapers he edited should upset his middle-class readers, he regularly indulged in dubious night-time escapades with fellow author Wilkie Collins, and, for the last 13 years of his life, kept a secret mistress.

Reviews

I can do no more than praise, recommend, insist that you buy and read this book.It supersedes all other Dickens biographies

Anthony Burgess, Independent

A truly magnificent biography.This is the complete, the nonesuch, the definitive Dickens

Sheridan Morley

A breathtaking feat of scholarship

The Times

Landmark biography… fascinating and colourful detail… first rate

Daily Express

Can't imagine a better introduction to the life and work of the quintessential English novelist than Peter Ackroyd's superb biography

Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099437093

    March 1, 2012

    Vintage

    624 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780749306472

    September 1, 1991

    Vintage

    1280 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Peter Ackroyd

Queer City
Alfred Hitchcock
Charlie Chaplin
Three Brothers
Wilkie Collins
London Under
The English Ghost
Venice
The Canterbury Tales
Poe
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
Thames: Sacred River
The Fall Of Troy
The Thames Box Set
The Thames: Sacred River Part 2
The Thames: Sacred River Part 3
Brief Lives 3 - Newton
Shakespeare
The Lambs Of London
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III
Turner
Chaucer

Recommendations

Late Essays
Emma
The Invention of Angela Carter
Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation
The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle
Hide-And-Seek With Angels
Bernard Shaw
Penelope Fitzgerald
Georgette Heyer Biography
Thackeray
Into The Frame
George Sand
The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad
Betjeman
Daphne Du Maurier
Flaubert
Just As Well I'm Leaving
The Life Of Graham Greene Volume 1
Genet
Georges Perec: A Life in Words