Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dickens: Public Life & Private Passions” as Want to Read:
Dickens: Public Life & Private Passions
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dickens: Public Life & Private Passions

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Presents an illustrated introduction to the public and private life of the popular Victorian novelist.
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published March 25th 2002 by Hylas Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dickens, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dickens

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 26, 2012 B0nnie rated it liked it
Recommended to B0nnie by: santa claus
If you have this book, it is most likely you received it as the result of desperate last minute Christmas shopping.

And the big box book store had something to do with *that*.

They need 'product', they need a happy display, a riot of colour and promise: cookbooks containing only 7 recipes, but with lots of beautiful food centerfolds. Or photo essays on the Porsche, Diana's last wardrobe, wine bottles recovered from the sea. If it's literary, it will be a monster omnibus thingy – too large to hold
Matthew Huff
Dec 28, 2016 Matthew Huff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an extremely well-written and insightful biography! Since it is not as exhaustive as Tomalin's biography that I listened to in February, I highly recommend this book as a brief, but exciting introduction to the Inimitable. Replete with pictures and wonderful anecdotes (particularly surrounding his opinions of America and his public readings that almost killed him), Ackroyd's book is thoroughly engaging and immediately interesting. One worn highlighter later, I am so glad I stumbled upon thi ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a companion book for a PBS series produced by the BBC about one of their favorite sons: Charles Dickens. I did not see the series, so I guess this is the next best thing.

It’s loaded with photos and illustrations that not only cover the life of the famed novelist but also the times in which he lived. It’s also filled with quotes from his many novels.

Dickens himself was as complicated as many of the characters he wrote about in his published works. (According to John R. Greenfield, autho
Mar 23, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, a complementary biography to a BBC television series on Dickens. Complete with many archival artefacts and photos, it is an engaging albeit uncomplicated take on the life of Charles Dickens - who was perhaps our very first celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic. Ackroyd is a fine writer and he provides a very competent and not totally sympathetic portrait of the amazing, restless and prolific Dickens from his poverty stricken roots to wealth and and acclaim at the end of his life.
May 19, 2009 Gail rated it it was amazing
I am on a bit of a Dickens kick at the moment. This was an illustrated biography that I bought recently. I think for somebody who just wants the basic story, free of excessive detail, this is an excellent way to go. It obviously has several picturs as well as quotes from the books. I learned quite a bit of this while reading DROOD, actually, but there was new information to be found. It's a quality biography that I found happily informative.
Apr 18, 2012 Lillian rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
An in-depth study of the life of the real 'David Copperfield'.
Ackroyd is clearly enamored of his subject (aren't we all) and presents an authentic portrait of one of the greatest writers of his and our time. This biography contains gorgeous images of our hero, his friends and family, with a study of his life and times during the writing of each of his books.
A must for all Dickens' fans!
David Christie
Mar 03, 2014 David Christie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this clearly written biography traces dickens's journey as a man, husband, writer, and social activist thematically in terms of periods of his life. his novels are all placed naturally within this perspective. beautifully illustrated, this book provides an accessible insight into britain's greatest novelist.
A very enjoyable biography. Ackroyd presents a good overview of Dickens' life without bogging the reader down with detailed analysis. A good general life, perhaps not for a person consumed with Dickens, but good for anyone else.
Feb 22, 2013 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is a problem here in that reviews of ackroyd's major biography appear here under the BBC tie in book which is nothing but an assembly of the most obvious facts with a lot of illustrations many of which are irrelevant .
Really this book is not worth reading.
Lady Dixie
Jan 16, 2016 Lady Dixie rated it really liked it
This biography of Dickens aroused some controversy among Dickensian scholars because of Ackroyd's attempt to "enter" Dickens's brain. It's meticulously researched, but I far prefer Edgar Johnson's biography (Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph).
Aug 06, 2011 Alan added it
A massive biography of Dickens. Very interestingbut slow reading. I don't know if it was worth devoting a month to reading it. In the end, Dickens was dead.
Feb 09, 2011 Lise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book but perhaps we shouldn't always read bios on our favorite authors!
Deby Depreta
Nov 17, 2013 Deby Depreta rated it liked it
The author overly lionized this deeply flawed, though brilliant and incredibly compassionate writer. Otherwise, a very good read.
May 18, 2012 Quadrotextual rated it really liked it
I only give it 4 stars because Ackroyd makes no mention of Mark Twain's review of Dicken's later in life reading in Washington.
May 14, 2007 Res marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research-dickens
My mother's day gift.
Delphine rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2007
Anthony Robb-John
Anthony Robb-John rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2016
David Ruffle
David Ruffle rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2016
Lois rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2010
Dom Zuccone
Dom Zuccone rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2010
Michal rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2013
Elaine rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2011
Leah Brown
Leah Brown rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2015
Peggy Biggs
Peggy Biggs rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2011
Greg rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2010
Craig rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2010
gunther weniger
gunther weniger rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2016
Julie rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2015
Susie rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2016
Catherine rated it it was ok
Oct 05, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English novelist and biographer with a particular interest in the history and culture of London.

Peter Ackroyd's mother worked in the personnel department of an engineering firm, his father having left the family home when Ackroyd was a baby. He was reading newspapers by the age of 5 and, at 9, wrote a play about Guy Fawkes. Reputedly, he first realized he was gay at the age
More about Peter Ackroyd...

Share This Book