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Old 02-14-2012, 01:42 AM   #31
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I, for one, am going to use the occasion to re-read and enjoy his wonderful books, not debate whether it's correct to call it a "birthday".
Couldn't agree more Harry. BTW for anyone looking for good copies check out University of Adelaide library http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/. Really good quality digital copies.

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:43 AM   #32
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Have you been living at the bottom of a well for the last week?

We've not been able to turn on the TV or radio around here without hearing items related to the bicentennial of Dickens's birth!
Unfortunately, not so much here in the U.S.

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:51 AM   #33
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BTW for anyone looking for good copies check out University of Adelaide library http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/. Really good quality digital copies.

Thank you very much for the link. But I don't think we have to go that far. The digital copies we have in our MobileRead library here are not so bad either.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:17 PM   #34
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Personally I prefer Peter Ackroyd's biography of Dickens.
Depends how keen you are on Dickens:

If you want a detailed account by someone who was a personal friend, then Forster's Life of Dickens is indispensible (Forster was also involved in many of Dickens' business negotiations, so his account is valuable from that point of view) .
Edgar Johnson - Dickens, His Tragedy and Triumph was the first really thorough and scholarly investigation of Dicken's Life (I've only read the one volume Penguin edition).
Peter Ackroyd's imaginative and sympathetic account is a really good read. I've ordered Michael Slater's Life of Dickens from Amazon (looking forward to that!).
I read Claire Tomalin's biography of Dickens recently and thought it was well written and well researched.

Any of these (except Forster) will give you the all the basic facts. Forster glossed over episodes that didn't reflect well on his friend's reputation and didn't mention Ellen Ternan at all (although he certainly knew about her).

Last week I went to see "Dicken's Women" - a performance piece by Miriam Margolyes, here in Sydney. It was outstanding. I can't recommend it too highly to any Dickens enthusiast.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:28 AM   #35
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The biography Charles Dickens {1945} by Una Pope Hennessy is quite interesting in that she explores the causes of the breakup of Dickens's marriage in some detail. In the process some light is thrown on the novels written during that period of the author's life.

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #36
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To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins, I don't know half of Dicken's works half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of it half as well as it deserves.

Seriously, I never got much out of Dickens, although I do recognize his skill as a writer. Maybe I should finally try reading Bleak House.

Anyway, his birthday is worth remembering!
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:15 AM   #37
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The American public opinion whipped up by the press was that he should be grateful that he was being read and that expecting payment was pure greed.
I guess mine isn't the first "Entitled Generation" after all!
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