Friday, November 2, 2012

Dickens and His Fellow Writers

Charles Dickens held a unique place in Victorian England, in that he was connected to so many other literary folk. From friends to family, frenemies to fans (nod wisely if you get the Doctor Who joke), Dickens knew most of the other writers of his time. Whether it was just because of the ease of contact due to modern living, or his magazines which employed and mentored fellow writers and exposed them to an audience that might otherwise have never read their works of genius, Dickens was a lodestone of the time. From his deep friendship with Wilkie Collins, to his love hate relationship with Thackeray, to publishing and erroneously editing Elizabeth Gaskell's works, he knew, and occasionally worked with, all the Trollopes (and no, this isn't a bad joke), Dickens was the center of this motley crew of literati.

Over the next month I'll take an in depth look at Dickens' relationship to four other authors of his day, one is even an American! How did Dickens influence or infuriate them? Because one can not just look to the man, to get an true appreciation of Dickens one must look to those around him, to realize the scope and range that made him the sensation he was and why we are still lauding the man 200 years after his birth and marvelling at the legacy he left behind.


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