Front Cover
HarperPerennial, 1990 - Novelists, English - 1195 pages
14 Reviews
Dickens was a landmark biography when first published in 1990. This specially edited shorter edition takes the reader into the life of one of the world's greatest writers. It is published to tie-in with a 3-part BBC-TV series on Dickens with Peter Ackroyd, part drama (based on Ackroyd's Simon Callow play), part documentary, part biography.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Dickens

User Review  - Goodreads

I will admit I got teary-eyed at the end of this. It's hard not to, with the sometimes intense level of admiration Ackroyd has for Dickens. Reading Ackroyd writing out Dickens' last days, because of ... Read full review

Review: Dickens

User Review  - Goodreads

Another bio of a "great" man who advocated for so many good things in his work but whose real life was just the opposite. Certainly the cruelty of Dickens towards his wife was far harsher than the ... Read full review



2 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1990)

Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He graduated from Cambridge University and was a Fellow at Yale (1971-1973). A critically acclaimed and versatile writer, Ackroyd began his career while at Yale, publishing two volumes of poetry. He continued writing poetry until he began delving into historical fiction with The Great Fire of London (1982). A constant theme in Ackroyd's work is the blending of past, present, and future, often paralleling the two in his biographies and novels. Much of Ackroyd's work explores the lives of celebrated authors such as Dickens, Milton, Eliot, Blake, and More. Ackroyd's approach is unusual, injecting imagined material into traditional biographies. In The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), his work takes on an autobiographical form in his account of Wilde's final years. He was widely praised for his believable imitation of Wilde's style. He was awarded the British Whitbread Award for biography in 1984 of T.S. Eliot, and the Whitbread Award for fiction in 1985 for his novel Hawksmoor. Ackroyd currently lives in London and publishes one or two books a year. He still considers poetry to be his first love, seeing his novels as an extension of earlier poetic work.

Bibliographic information