Coffee with Dickens (Coffee with...Series)by Paul Schlicke, Peter Ackroyd (Foreword by)
Charles Dickens was the 19th-century equivalent of a pop superstar and an undisputed genius whose novels have remained enduringly popular. This quiet talk with his ghost (which takes place at the inn so beloved by Mr. Pickwick) conveys all his vigor, warmth, and humanity—and provides a scintillating tour through his life, career, eccentricities, and trenchant opinions. Sit back and listen to this master conversationalist talk about everything from work in a boot-polish factory to his immensely popular lecture tours in America.
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Having coffee with Dickens? What larks! This little book is just right! Short enough to finish with a pot of coffee and long enough to touch on fifteen major points in the life of the famous Victorian author including such tantalizing topics as 'An Inky Quill Pen and Two Dueling Toads', 'A Paltry, Wretched, Miserable Sum', 'The Attraction of Repulsion' and 'Why Oliver Asked For More'. Acclaimed novelist Peter Ackroyd provides the forward, filled with the compelling `aroma¿ of what is to come¿what would it be like to speak to Dickens? Paul Schlicke, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen and current chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Charles Dickens Museum in London, addresses that question after giving us an informative introduction and `Life in Short', providing a solid foundation for the conversation to follow. Written as a chance encounter at the Leather Bottle, a favorite watering hole of Dickens featured in the Pickwick Papers, a stranger invites the ghost of Dickens, 'shades of Jacob Marley', to share a coffee¿or something stronger, and engages him in a lively and telling exchange. Dickens doesn¿t miss a beat, answering each question with the exuberance and vivacity he was known for as evidenced by his letters, speeches and essays. He remains in character throughout, refusing to comment on his affair with Ellen Ternan and chiding the interviewer severely for even asking. Each major point in his life is sufficiently covered just enough to whet the reader¿s appetite for, ¿More, please!¿ and the author does supply further resources in the back for those desiring a `refill¿. Dr. Schlicke has kept the book light and airy and at the same time provided us with a fundamental understanding and insight into the life of this 'Inimitable' man. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy! Philadelphia, PA., February 7, 2008