Charles Dickens was born in 1812, and in 2012 there were celebrations and commemorative activities taking place all over the English-speaking world and beyond.
Along with the works of Shakespeare, his fictions now define what English-speaking people have come to mean by “classic” literary art, and although his critical reception has been variable over the two hundred-plus years since his death — it stands supremely high now — his popularity has never waned: his novels have never been out of print.
Someone reading a Dickens novel wishes that it might never end.
Every Dickens character is like an old friend. Dickens treated his characters as if they were his guests.
Chesterton's two-part biography of Dickens proved important to the modern perception of Dickens as a literary giant, and the work has received widespread praise.
Written with intelligence and authority, these essays provide crucial insight into Dickens’ literary genius.
Chesterton greatly admired Dickens as a social prophet and a defender of the common man. Here, he focuses both on the style and ideology of Dickens and provides critical insight into his work with characteristic perceptive generosity.
If you are seeking an answer to why Dickens is so enduring, these persuasive essays will provide the answer.
“Dickens is one of the best friends mankind has ever had...”
- George Santayana
G.K. CHESTERTON (1874–1936) was an English writer, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, biographer, and art critic. Today he is best known for his fictional priest-detective, Father Brown. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton's "friendly enemy" according to Time Magazine, said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, and Cardinal John Henry Newman.