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Charles Dickens by G.K. Chesterton (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Biography) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 119 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 435 KB
  • Print Length: 119 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Halcyon Press Ltd.; First edition (January 12, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J1701S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In his biography of GKC, Ian Ker ranks DICKENS among the best of the best of Chesterton's works. I'm still working through Ker's wonderful volume, but upon receiving my Kindle I immediately sought out this volume for download and commenced reading.

Chesterton was an admirer of Dickens in much the way that I am an admirer of Chesterton. The comparison ends there, however, as Chesterton might well have been in the same league as the object of his admiration and subject of his study.

Those who know Chesterton's work may reasonably predict that this biography provides its author with the occasion for developing and expounding upon familiar Chestertonian themes: a wonder for life and gratitude for his very existence, a taste for romance and adventure, and the dignity of the common person, among others. He finds this opportunity because he finds in Dickens a man and author of similar temperament and conviction.

More than anything, as I read I am struck by the rich insights regarding what it is to be human. And, of course, those insights are set forth with all of the grace and wit for which Chesterton is known. How could he have offered higher praise of Dickens than to have written, "In everybody there is a certain thing that loves babies, fears death, likes sunlight. That thing enjoys Dickens." And his description of Dickens might just as easily have appeared in his Autobiography:

"These higher optimists, of whom Dickens was one, do not approve of the universe; they do not even admire the universe; they fall in love with it. They embrace life too close to criticise or even to see it. Existence to such men has the wild beauty of a woman, and those love her with most intensity who love her with least cause."

This is a great work.
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Not an easy read but worth the effort. Chesterton is rather light on the details of Dickens' life, concentrating mainly on his work and place in the literary pantheon. The thing that sets the book apart from the run of the mill biography is that it displays the unique perspective of a famous English novelist on the work of an even more famous English novelist. I've read virtually all of Dickens and believe, if anything, he is underrated.

I have read none of Chesterton's fiction, and if this is indicative of his style I can't see myself changing horse at this stage of the hunt.
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A comprehensive look at the inate humanity that boils out of Dickens as he builds his characters. It is this faith in man that makes his work timeless .
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How any biographer can make Charles Dickens boring was a mystery. Mystery solved. G.K. Chesterton is the culprit. Don't waste your money!
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