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5.0 out of 5 stars The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens
An important means of gaining an insight into the day to day affairs of an author who made a huge contribution to the Literature of England
Published 7 months ago by Derek Lunt

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really for me
This book took me forever to read, even though most of the letters in it were fairly short. In my opinion much of the correspondence was boring, made more difficult by the fact that you only get one side of the conversation. Some of the letters were pointless - simply replying to an invitation without any hint about where the invitation was to or what it was for. While...
Published 9 months ago by Rachel


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really for me, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens (Hardcover)
This book took me forever to read, even though most of the letters in it were fairly short. In my opinion much of the correspondence was boring, made more difficult by the fact that you only get one side of the conversation. Some of the letters were pointless - simply replying to an invitation without any hint about where the invitation was to or what it was for. While they did give some interesting information particularly about social reform at the time and his trip to the US and some of his novels, I felt that I learned very little about Dickens other than that he was a very contradictory man saying some things to one person and other things to other people. In the end I found myself rushing to finish the book so I could put it away.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Essential supplement to biographies, 31 Jan 2014
By 
C. J. Tyler "cjtbrocco" (England) - See all my reviews
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Read with a sense of loss at the missing and destroyed correspondence. But there is still plenty here to enjoy ranging from family to business matters, with advice on writing, running a household, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens, 28 Jan 2014
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An important means of gaining an insight into the day to day affairs of an author who made a huge contribution to the Literature of England
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good selection of letters, as well as introduction, notes, bibliography and index from a proper academic publisher, 1 Feb 2013
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If you can't afford the time or money for the Pilgrim Edition of CD's letters then consider this. I have been reading it in chronological tandem with the book version of Michael Slater's biography of Dickens. The biography gives much more background to the letters, and the letters bring some more life to the biographical detail in Slater's book (many letters are quoted or referred to in this anyway)!

Immensely talented, very various in his interests, a great writer - the letters provide insight into all these aspects of Dickens's character and life. However, one of the reasons that I bought this book on Kindle (on January offer and fantastic value) was to test out how using a 'reference' book of this sort worked on the Kindle. As its 450 letters are all contained in one chapter (as in the 'tree' book) it isn't really possible to 'dip in' or flick through as you can in a 'real' book. Sub-headings to the Letters chapter in the Contents list (possibly by decade or similar) would help. You could use the search function and then bookmark if you wanted, or/and the very thorough Index and then 'go to' but perhaps that is a bit clunky just for a general read. I have been happy just to read sequentially; however I don't see why the Kindle version could not work for academic purpose too if you get used to the electronic manoeuvring.
Overall, I am finding it a great reading resource as I keep going back to the letters a few at a time when I am not wanting to get into a novel; and they are also adding texture as a 'read along' to the Dickens' biography. Recommended, and a must for Dickens fans anyway - whichever version you choose.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Letterwriter Too, 24 Jan 2013
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To read the letters of a great author is a great priviledge to behold. This is especially true of Charles Dickens, arguably the greatest novelist of our Isles. This volume shows him in many lights, as a traveler, kind friend, and a close observer of the social issues of his age. He can also be quite humorous.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Selected letters of Charles Dickens, 13 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens (Hardcover)
This book gives an insight into the life of one of our greatest writers.we think we have busy lives yet Dickens never stopped regularly writing anywhere up to twenty letters a day,travelling all over the country,walking daily distances of twenty miles plus ,raising a large family and oh yes writing a few books !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Dickens, 3 Feb 2013
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I bought this for the Kindle and enjoyed reading it. However, I think I would have preferred a hard copy so that I could flick back and forth more readily.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars He was a Novelist First and Foremost, 11 April 2013
This review is from: The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens (Hardcover)
Let me say that I find it quite difficult to believe I'm giving just 3 stars to one of the greatest novelists of all time, in any language.

Why did I find it a disappointment? I've given this some thought (as you would hope) and I now think the explanation is quite simple: the novels were written for public consumption, they were a commercial product and, usually, a superb one, crafted by a consummate professional. These letters are a bird of a quite different feather, personal writings intended for the addressees' eyes only. In itself that fact does not mean they are devoid of interest to the rest of us---far from it. What it does mean, for me, is that they aren't half as much fun to read. Moreover, his repeated pourings out of the heart, at heroic length, could never have hoped to grip the stranger, for example a reader in the 21st century, the way they were meant to grip the recipient and certainly gripped the writer himself.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best place to find Dickens, 14 May 2013
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The letters illuminate, not the man, but the man Dickens was trying to present to the world and to himself. We all know enough about him to see the disparity between the character portrayed in the letters and the real life of the man. This in itself is interesting up to a point, but leaves one frustrated at not being able to know what he really thought and felt about the world he lived in as it affected him and his family. But maybe the letters of a deeply hypocritical man are not the best place in which to find him.
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The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens
The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens by Jenny Hartley (Hardcover - 2 Feb 2012)
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