Dickens

( 3 )

Overview

From a bitter childhood mired in poverty and hard work to a career as the most acclaimed and best-loved writer in the English-speaking world, Charles Dickens had a life as tumultuous as any he created in his teeming novels of life in Victorian England. And no one has captured the rich texture of this life as colorfully and persuasively as Fred Kaplan in this acclaimed biography. Drawing on unpublished and long-forgotten sources, Kaplan presents a full-scale portrait of Dickens and his world. From the ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$24.54
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$29.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $2.48   
  • New (7) from $17.50   
  • Used (12) from $2.48   
Dickens: A Biography

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$14.99 List Price

Overview

From a bitter childhood mired in poverty and hard work to a career as the most acclaimed and best-loved writer in the English-speaking world, Charles Dickens had a life as tumultuous as any he created in his teeming novels of life in Victorian England. And no one has captured the rich texture of this life as colorfully and persuasively as Fred Kaplan in this acclaimed biography. Drawing on unpublished and long-forgotten sources, Kaplan presents a full-scale portrait of Dickens and his world. From the autobiographical basis of his novels and his extraordinary circle of friends to the course of his unhappy marriage and complicated family relations, Kaplan reveals the restless compulsions, private passions, and professional concerns that drove Dickens to unprecedented literary success. Kaplan details Dickens's often stormy dealings with his publishers and his carefully cultivated relationship with readers, heightened through amateur theatricals and numerous public readings in Britain and North America. Brilliantly written and thoroughly researched, Dickens provides an absorbing and perceptive account of its subject as a singularly complex man and a consummate artist, offering readers new insights into Dickens's—and literature's—greatest works, works such as Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and Oliver Twist.

Johns Hopkins University Press

A full-scale portrait of Dickens the man and incorporates into the narrative a discussion of the autobiographical basis and significance of his greatest masterpieces.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Spectator
Dickens by Fred Kaplan may do for our greatest writer after Shakespeare what Ellman did for Oscar Wilde... A brilliantly readable work and one essential for all of us who care about the man who, for all his faults, remained 'The Inimitable' and 'The Sparkler' to the end.

— John Mortimer

New York Times
Fred Kaplan's Dickens ... would be valuable if only because it takes into account the reams of research that have been published in the intervening years; but it is also well proportioned, persuasive in its judgments and consistently, grippingly readable.

— John Gross

Los Angeles Times
Kaplan has spent ten years preparing and writing this book; his achievement is as rare, as wonderful, as the Dickens he brings to life. We are all the beneficiaries of this exceptional biography.

— A. D. Hutter

New York Review of Books
Kaplan is particularly good... on the shape and perspective of Dickens's career, his relation with his younger siblings, all of whom he outlived, and with his own children and their developing private lives. To be fully understood as a writer he needs to be put in this sort of family frame.

— John Bayley

Wall Street Journal
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mr. Kaplan's biography is its picture of Dickens's professional life and friendships: one senses anew the extraordinary competitive vigor of the Victorian imperial personality. Mr. Kaplan's objective presentation of the facts about the colossus of the age gives us a far better sense of its shape and scale than any facile charm might conjure up. His clarity is the highest form of respect and affection for his astonishing subject.

— Richard Locke

Spectator - John Mortimer

Dickens by Fred Kaplan may do for our greatest writer after Shakespeare what Ellman did for Oscar Wilde... A brilliantly readable work and one essential for all of us who care about the man who, for all his faults, remained 'The Inimitable' and 'The Sparkler' to the end.

New York Times - John Gross

Fred Kaplan's Dickens ... would be valuable if only because it takes into account the reams of research that have been published in the intervening years; but it is also well proportioned, persuasive in its judgments and consistently, grippingly readable.

Los Angeles Times - A. D. Hutter

Kaplan has spent ten years preparing and writing this book; his achievement is as rare, as wonderful, as the Dickens he brings to life. We are all the beneficiaries of this exceptional biography.

New York Review of Books - John Bayley

Kaplan is particularly good... on the shape and perspective of Dickens's career, his relation with his younger siblings, all of whom he outlived, and with his own children and their developing private lives. To be fully understood as a writer he needs to be put in this sort of family frame.

Wall Street Journal - Richard Locke

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mr. Kaplan's biography is its picture of Dickens's professional life and friendships: one senses anew the extraordinary competitive vigor of the Victorian imperial personality. Mr. Kaplan's objective presentation of the facts about the colossus of the age gives us a far better sense of its shape and scale than any facile charm might conjure up. His clarity is the highest form of respect and affection for his astonishing subject.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first major biography of Dickens in nearly 40 years is a winning mix of insight, narrative skill and shrewd judgment. Kaplan (Thomas Carlyle) shows how powerfully both as man and artist Dickens was shaped by the experience of his youth: on the one hand the humiliations showered on him by his penurious and feckless parents, on the other his mental escape into the bright world of the 18th-century novel which gave him his models for good and bad character. In tracing Dickens's career from 'boy prodigy' to grizzled Victorian giant of letters, from the enchanted world of The Pickwick Papers to the grim and unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood, Kaplan covers his roles as journalist, novelist, social reformer and businessman, shedding considerable new light on his relations with his parents, wife and mistress, on his two trips to America and on his triumphant but exhausting public readings from his novels. Dickens was convivial, loyal, secretive and arrogant, with a 'performance personality' that required applause for self-definition. He was also profoundly restless. Indeed, that word rings like a bell throughout the book.
Library Journal
As the first major Dickens biography in many years, this book is welcome and invites comparison. Kaplan, author of the less ambitious Dickens and Mesmerism, delivers a solid product. Less chocked with raw data than, say, John Forster's or Edgar Johnson's, his book is more pleasurable to read; on the other hand, it contains much more raw data than the more 'readable' biographies like Stephen Leacock's. With all that has been written about Dickens, one would not expect startling revelations, and one does not get them. But Kaplan has synthesized the vast amount of biodata into a coherent account of Dickens' public and private selves and, to a lesser degree, the way autobiography figures into the novels. Important to Dickens scholars while accessible to the general public. -- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, New York
Library Journal
As the first major Dickens biography in many years, this book is welcome and invites comparison. Kaplan, author of the less ambitious Dickens and Mesmerism, delivers a solid product. Less chocked with raw data than, say, John Forster's or Edgar Johnson's, his book is more pleasurable to read; on the other hand, it contains much more raw data than the more 'readable' biographies like Stephen Leacock's. With all that has been written about Dickens, one would not expect startling revelations, and one does not get them. But Kaplan has synthesized the vast amount of biodata into a coherent account of Dickens' public and private selves and, to a lesser degree, the way autobiography figures into the novels. Important to Dickens scholars while accessible to the general public. -- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, New York
Booknews
Kaplan (English, Queens College) provides a full-scale portrait of Dickens and incorporates into the narrative a discussion of the autobiographical basis and significance of his greatest masterpiece. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Louis Auchincloss
The novelist who emerges from [Kaplan's] study -- dynamic, mercurial, self-deluding, with a big heart for the masses and a small one for his ego, makes fascinating reading.
Newsday
John Gross
Well proportioned, persuasive inits judgments and consistently, grippingly readable.
The New York Times
John Bayley
To be fully understood as a writer he needs to be put in this sort of family frame.
The New York Review of Books
A. D. Hutter
Kaplan has spent ten years preparing and writing this book; his achievement is as rare, as wonderful, as the Dickens he brings to life. We are all the beneficiaries of this exceptional biography.
—A.D. Hutter, Los Angeles Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801860188
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/9/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 644
  • Sales rank: 718,380
  • Product dimensions: 1.42 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Kaplan is the author of Miracles of Rare Devices, Dickens and Mesmerism, Thomas Carlyle, A Biography (nominated for the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Sacred Tears, and Henry James: A Biography, and is the editor of Charles Dickens' Book of Memoranda. A past recipient of Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships, he has also served as editor of the Dickens Studies Annual.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Rockstar

    Waits

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Lionpaw

    He slips in, replaces rockstars moss and leaves.(( 1

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Birchpaw

    I vote 3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)