Monday, April 15, 2013

Review of Charles Dickens A Life

Claire Tomalin has done it again for me with her wonderful biography, Charles Dickens A Life -engaging prose, scholarly but with a light touch and all those helpful extras (endnotes, a cast list, maps and photos) that a reader can choose to  use, or not.
She paints a very balanced portrait of CD, summarises each of his key works with depth and brevity (not an easy task) and the writing feels authentic. His exhausting schedule makes for exhausting reading!  His family structure was fascinating; and the Internet has helped my curiosity about his descendants ... no surprises they inlcude writers and actors. 
I learnt so much from this book not the least about English social history during his lifetime, and now I'm going to reread Tomalin's book about Nelly Ternan, and maybe a Dickens or two.

A very readable book, and one that was so good to have at a difficult time. Our two year old English Staffi Crumble, went missing on Friday evening, and despite searching all weekend there has been no sight of her. We've put up lots of Perdu notices, walked and walked the fields and woods near the lake where she ran from, into the fields, probably chasing a hare, or a deer, as she did so often. We are all feeling bereft, wishing we could do more, hoping she can somehow find her way home from where ever she went.

Its been sunny and warm for a few days, the still snow covered mountains look wonderful,  there's lots of birdsong all around and last night we had a wonderful meal of asparagus, freshly picked from the garden. Just a few good things amongst the sadness we are all feeling.

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