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...
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.
I love Chesterton's biography of Dickens. I do not like the quality of this edition. It is not pleasant to read. Consider looking up the Everyman's edition of Chesterton's works, which I bought instead. It has Dickens' Bio as well as several of his other works. Quality editions of Chesterton's works, poetry, etc. are very hard to find, much to our loss. Really hoping that someone step's up and gets some nice hardbacks of his work.
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