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Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin & Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Reviewed by
March 2012, no. 339

Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin & Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Reviewed by
March 2012, no. 339

This is how Claire Tomalin closes her Dickens biography: ‘He left a trail like a meteor, and everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens’, followed by a long list of types. I consider Dickens the surrealist, or thesentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding his life and work, ‘a great many questions hang in the air, unanswered and mostly unanswerable’.

Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist

by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Harvard University Press (Inbooks), $39.95 hb, 389 pp, 9780674050037

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