The Friendly Charles Dickens: Being Good Natured GT Art and Adventures Man Who Invented Scrooge by Norrie Epstein, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Friendly Charles Dickens: Being Good Natured GT Art and Adventures Man Who Invented Scrooge

The Friendly Charles Dickens: Being Good Natured GT Art and Adventures Man Who Invented Scrooge

by Norrie Epstein
     
 
Norrie Epstein-whose The Friendly Shakespeare was called spirited, informative and provocative by The New York Times-strips away the polite veneer of Victorian society to reveal Dickens's life and times in all their squalor and glory. Along with a guide to all of Dickens's works, interviews with aficionados from Patrick Stewart to biographer Phyllis

Overview

Norrie Epstein-whose The Friendly Shakespeare was called spirited, informative and provocative by The New York Times-strips away the polite veneer of Victorian society to reveal Dickens's life and times in all their squalor and glory. Along with a guide to all of Dickens's works, interviews with aficionados from Patrick Stewart to biographer Phyllis Rose, eye-catching illustrations, copious quotations, a highly opinionated filmography, and informative sidebars on almost every page, you'll find answers to such questions as:

* Why are nineteenth-century novels so long?
* What was Dickens's evil hour?
* Why couldn't the Victorians resist a deathbed scene?
* How many characters populated Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers?
* Why is Dickens the most popular-and the most despised-novelist in the world?

This Friendly companion to the man who called himself The Inimitable will have you running in delight to dust off your Dickens.

A lively, accessible companion to Dickens's work, deftly splicing historical and biographical background with shrewd critical commentary. (David Lodge)

Author Bio: Norrie Epstein has lectured extensively at the University of California, as well as the University of Rochester and Goucher College, covering almost every literary figure including, of course, Charles Dickens. She is the author of The Friendly Shakespeare.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The subtitle of this guide to Charles Dickens explains what Epstein (The Friendly Shakespeare, LJ 12/92) sets out to accomplish. Part of the publisher's "Friendly" series of popular guides, this is not a full-scale biographical or scholarly study of the author's life and works; for that, one should consult works by Edgar Johnson, Fred Kaplan, and others. Instead, Epstein wants to whet the average reader's interest in Dickens by reviewing all aspects of his life and by summarizing each of his published novels. Epstein successfully uses illustrations, sidebars, lists, and interviews with actors, critics, and various Dickensians to make her observations and critical readings entertaining to the nonscholarly reader. Recommended primarily for public libraries. (Bibliography and index not seen.) [For more on Dickens, see Paul Davis's Charles Dickens A--Z, reviewed on p. 70.--Ed.]--Morris Hounion, New York City Technical Coll. Lib., Brooklyn
Booknews
Another in the "friendly" series popularizing and demystifying classic authors, this volume offers tips on reading Dickens, describes his life, and offers observations and lore connected with the many fascinating characters he created. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
In the sort of labor of love Dickens inspires, Epstein, author of The Friendly Shakespeare (not reviewed) and sometime university lecturer, has written her well-informed and engaging pop reference for those sick of the annual maladaptations of A Christmas Carol and students who have encountered them only as "textbooks, not novels.þ Dickens biographers and scholars have been hard at work since Edmund Wilson to dismantle Dickens's respectable Victorian facade, usually with Freudian tools, but The Friendly Dickens balances demystification with erudition as it encapsulates his prodigious work and literally Dickensian life. Peppered throughout are intriguing and odd bits of information, culled from a wide variety of sources, so that the casual browser will learn Dickens's robust walking speed (4.8 m.p.h.), the total number of characters he created (13,143) and all those he killed off before the age of 25 (over a dozen), and the amount of dung deposited on London streets (40,000 tons per annum). Some of the liveliest and most opinionated sections are the interviews with fellow Dickens aficionados, including actors Roger Rees on the role of Nicholas Nickleby, Miriam Margolyes on Dickens's women in her solo revue, and Patrick Stewart on his one-man Christmas Carol, and critics David Lodge on academic snobbery toward Boz and adapting Martin Chuzzlewit, Phyllis Rose on his marriage and mistress, and Jonathan Yardley on the cultural shifts in popular entertainment from books to movies. Ironically, the best reference section is an extensive filmography of every major screen and television adaptation, enlivened by Epstein's assessments of W.C. Fields as Mr. Micawber, the discordantly cheerfulOliver!, and Michael Caine opposite Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Christmas Carol. Dickensian in every sense of the word, especially Victorian eccentricity and Pickwickian good humor. (illustrations, not seen.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140153828
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
02/01/2001
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.90(d)

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