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Charles Dickens At Home

A lavishly produced and illustrated hardback book by the author Hilary Macaskill and the photographer Graham Salter, this superb product from Frances Lincoln Publishers measures a full 10 1/2" (267 mm) square, and makes for a wonderful present as well as a fascinating read.

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Reviews

Published in time for the bicentennial of Charles Dickens' birth next year, this handsome and richly illustrated book is a must for Dickens aficionados. Author Hilary Macaskill captures the details of Dickens' remarkable life and the Dickensian characters that populate his novels...

It's especially satisfying to see the places associated with Dickens as they appear today. The marshes on the River Medway banks near the city of Rochester that evoke the setting in "Great Expectations" are here, as are the marshes near the village of Cooling in Kent that were the setting for Pip's meeting with the convict Magwitch in the same novel.

Also here are the church in the Chelsea neighborhood of London where Dickens got married, the house in the English countryside where he spent his honeymoon, and the Georgian-style house in London at 48 Doughty St. where he and his wife settled down. It was here, in this surprisingly modest-looking dwelling, that he wrote "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby" and started "Barnaby Rudge." It is now the Dickens Museum.

(Chicago Tribune)

 

“In the tradition of this great weaver of tales, Ms. Macaskill’s eminently readable volume will delight book lovers everywhere as they are transported into the world of Charles Dickens at Home — the place that shaped his sensibilities and in which he created his classic novels.”

The year 2012 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of England’s best-loved authors. His novels such as David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol are loved the world over and have given us many memorable, beautifully drawn characters. They not only engage, but also enlighten us about certain aspects of what the world was like in Britain in the Age of Queen Victoria...

Charles Dickens at Home takes the reader to the many and varied places where Dickens lived and visited. Our journey is enriched not only with insightful and painstakingly researched words, but also through a wealth of authentic illustrations and recent original photographs, contributed by Graham Salter. We are privileged to see where Scrooge and Mr. Micawber came to life, and gain a perspective on the “neatness and order” that Dickens needed in his surroundings in order to settle and write...

Revered not only as a writer, but also as a social reformer, Dickens was greatly affected by events from his own childhood and youth, not least when his father was jailed in the Marshalsea debtors’ prison in London.

His own early experiences of working in an oppressive manufacturing environment impressed upon him a need for the reform of workers’ conditions; however, this did not restrict his own personal indulgences at home, as George Eliot observed following a visit to his home at Tavistock House in London, commenting cuttingly on the “splendid library, of course, with soft carpet, couches etc, such as became a sympathizer with the suffering classes. How can we sufficiently pity the needy unless we know fully the blessings of the plenty?”

As the reader tiptoes through Dickens’ dwellings and holiday homes, into details of his marriage and his mistress, into the graveyards he found inspirational, and the fatal train crash that nearly claimed his life (and his honor,) we realize just how adeptly he created a sense of place and time in his books.

(New York Journal of Books )

Hilary Macaskill is an indefatiguable sleuth. (World of Interiors)

Product Description

One of the best-loved of English authors, Charles Dickens is revered as a storyteller, social campaigner and chronicler of his time and place. This book tracks the places Dickens lived, from his Portsmouth birthplace and childhood home in Chatham to his last home back in Kent, at Gad's Hill Place in Rochester. The book also covers his travels in England and abroad, where the locations provided the settings in his novels, such as Nicholas Nickleby's Yorkshire and in the East Anglia of David Copperfield, Charles Dickens's most autobiographical novel. Above all, it is London, where he lived in different homes for the majority of his life, which is so identified with Dickens and with his fiction. One thing that characterised his attitude to all his homes in adult life was his deep involvement in domestic arrangements, despite the frantic pace of his intensive work schedule. It was this close attention to detail, as well as his acute observation of his surroundings, that distinguished his novels, both in their portrayal of home life and in their sense of place. An invaluable resource to anyone who has an interest in the settings of Dickens' work, Hilary Macaskill weaves a narrative which places this great writer in his domestic context, gloriously illustrated with archive material and original photography.

Hilary Macaskill is a journalist and travel writer. She was formerly a publisher, a publicity manager for publishing companies and a lecturer in journalism at City University. She lives in London.

Graham Salter, one of Britain's most experienced oboists and teachers, has held Principal positions with the RSNO and the Royal Opera House and has appeared as Guest Principal with every major London orchestra. He appears widely as a concerto and recital soloist. His extensive photos of classical music and the arts are distributed by the Lebrecht Collection.

Dr Florian Schweizer is Director of the Charles Dickens Museum, Doughty Street, London

 

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