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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 4 Dec 2007 21:47:38 -0800
TEXT/PLAIN (34 lines)

	Herb Moskovitz <[log in to unmask]> has spotted an unexpected new 
publication by Michael Slater:				(pjm)
Oxford University Press ... has asked Professor Michael Slater to 
put out a "bite-sized" biography of The Inimitable.  (Actually this book is 
based on Professor Slater's entry on Dickens for the  massive Oxford Dictionary 
of National Biography.)
This new book is part of a series about "Very Interesting  People."
Shakespeare, Newton, Darwin and George Eliot have also been given this  
abbreviated treatment with promises of James Joyce, Milton, Austen and 
Churchill to have their mini-biographies forthcoming soon. You may have 
noticed that the notables are all British. 
I don't know how the other subjects will fare with their biographers, but 
Dickens could have no better biographer than Professor Slater. In just ninety 
pages we are treated to a surprisingly complete biography  by one of 
today's most eminent Dickensians. [It is]especially surprising since 
Dickens was not only an author, but also an editor, journalist, 
playwright, actor and concluded his life with a new career in public 
readings. All these, plus Dickens's personal life are all admirably 
covered, as is his work with various charities. Still the emphasis of the 
biography is on Dickens's  novels. Professor Slater concludes with a 
fourteen-page chapter about Dickens's  reputation and legacy after 
his death, exploring his after-fame, his impact on world literature and his 
continuing presence on the stage as well as in film, television and radio. 
Everything of importance is here. Professor Slater's lucid  writing style 
is, of course, a great boon, and the biography is eminently  readable.
The book is available from Oxford University Press for about five pounds or 
about ten dollars.