Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World

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Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World

Format:  Paperback,

370 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Aug 2012

ISBN-13: 9780345803238

ISBN-10: 034580323X

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Acclaimed actor and writer Simon Callow offers a fresh perspective on one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Charles Dickens, in this lively, colorful biography.
Dickens was one of the first true celebrity authors. Thousands of fans in Britain and America eagerly awaited each new installment of his stories and flocked to see him on his legendary speaking tours. Not only did he create an incredible cast of characters on the page, but he was also a dazzling mimic and storyteller, and he wrote, stage-managed, and acted in plays for the public. Throughout his life, from his childhood performances in pubs to his legendarily powerful reading tours, Dickens was fanatical about the stage. Callow reveals Dickens's genius on and off the page and offers a compelling insight into a life that was driven as much by performance and showmanship as by literature.

Specifications

Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Aug 2012
ISBN-13: 9780345803238
ISBN-10: 034580323X
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 370
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.65
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.25 x 8.25 x 0.75

Chapter outline

Forewordp. ix
Overturep. xii
Paradisep. 1
Paradise Lostp. 13
Beginning the Worldp. 31
The Birth of Bozp. 43
The Peregrinations of Pickwickp. 69
Practical Powerp. 89
Here We Are!p. 101
Sledge-Hammer Blowp. 129
Animal Magnetismp. 149
Every Man in His Humourp. 161
The Great Fight and Strife of Lifep. 193
Not So Bad as We Seemp. 215
The Ice-Bound Soulp. 231
Going Publicp. 263
The Loadstone Rockp. 299
On the Groundp. 315
Acknowledgementsp. 353
Select Bibliographyp. 355
Indexp. 357

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-06-15)

Of the several books published this year in honor of the bicentennial of Dickens's birth, this by Callow is in many ways the best because it has all the gusto that a popular biography of Dickens-a man who "could do nothing by halves"-should possess, along with the sound understanding of, and insight into, its subject's life. Callow (My Life in Pieces) is an actor with writing in his blood; Dickens was a writer who encountered the theater as one of his earliest and deepest loves.

Dickens wrote for the theater with little success; his casts of characters and their memorable turns of phrase, the drama and comedy, went best into his fiction. Here is the life familiar to Dickens's devoted readers, but expressed with marvelous brio and an instinctive recognition of this man who demonstrated an empathy for the urban unempowered while ruthlessly driving to maintain his own dominance and control in personal and professional terms.

Verdict: The best biography for Dickens newcomers and a wonderful read for all.

-Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal

(c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Acclaimed actor and writer Simon Callow offers a fresh perspective on one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Charles Dickens, in this lively, colorful biography.

Dickens was one of the first true celebrity authors. Thousands of fans in Britain and America eagerly awaited each new installment of his stories and flocked to see him on his legendary speaking tours. Not only did he create an incredible cast of characters on the page, but he was also a dazzling mimic and storyteller, and he wrote, stage-managed, and acted in plays for the public. Throughout his life, from his childhood performances in pubs to his legendarily powerful reading tours, Dickens was fanatical about the stage. Callow reveals Dickens’s genius on and off the page and offers a compelling insight into a life that was driven as much by performance and showmanship as by literature.

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