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Top 10 Charles Dickens Books


Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a popular novelist in the Victorian period. With novels like Hard Times, Dickens attacked social injustices in the Industrial Revolution.

1. Charles Dickens: A Literary Life

by Grahame Smith. Palgrave. From the publisher: "Dickens's literary genius has traditionally been regarded as a creative impulse developed in private. Taking a fresh approach, Grahame Smith draws on a wealth of material to reveal how Dickens's potential as a writer was realised through a highly practical process of literary production."

2. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work

by Paul Davis. Facts on File. From the publisher: "This unique encyclopedia is a superbly organized, integrated reference suitable for both Dickens scholars and Dickens fans. Among the more than 2,500 cross-referenced entries can be found articles about: every Dickens novel, including story synopses, commentary, criticism, and adaptations..."

3. Dickens: A Biography

by Fred Kaplan. Johns Hopkins University Press. From the publisher: "Thoroughly researched, Dickens provides an absorbing and perceptive account of its subject as a singularly complex man and a consummate artist, offering readers new insights into Dickens' - and literature's - greatest works..."

4. Charles Dickens

by Lyn Pykett. Palgrave. From the publisher: "This wide-ranging book looks at the author as a Victorian 'man of letters', and explores his cultural and critical impact, both on the definition of the novel in the 19th century and the subsequent development of the form in the 20th."

5. Charles Dickens

by Jane Smiley. Gale Group. From the publisher: "In this entry in the bestselling Penguin Lives series of biographies, acclaimed novelist Jane Smiley takes a look at the life of the legendary Charles Dickens. Smiley ... seeks to specifically look at what he reveals about his life through his writings, in a way only another creator of fiction can."

6. Unequal Partners: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins...

by Lillian Nayder. Cornell University Press. From the publisher: "In the first book centering on the collaborative relationship between Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Lillian Nayder places their coauthored works in the context of the Victorian publishing industry and shows how their fiction and drama represent and reconfigure their sometimes strained relationship."

7. American Notes for General Circulation

by Charles Dickens, and Patricia Ingham. Penguin Classics. From the publisher: "His frank, often humorous descriptions cover everything from his comically uncomfortable sea voyage to his wonder at the Niagara Falls. In general Dickens is critical of what he saw as a society ruled by money and partly built on slavery, with unsavoury manners and a corrupt press."

8. Charles Dickens

by Catherine Peters. Sutton Publishing. From the publisher: "This short biography provides an excellent introduction: his disturbed childhood, his instant success as a young writer and his tumultuous acclaim in both England and America in the 1840s..."

9. The Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens

by Paul Schlicke (Editor). Oxford University Press. From the publisher: "Written by a distinguished team of over 60 scholars, and edited by the former president of The Dickens Society, 'The Companion' offers more than 500 alphabetical entries covering Dickens' life and times, his ideas, significant places, his journalism, and much more. 51 illustrations. 3 maps."

10. Charles Dickens

by Rod Mengham. Northcote House Publishers. From the publisher: "It is through the use of the first person in novels, letters and travel writings that Dickens reveals a good deal, not only about his own identity, but also about the construction of Victorian subjectivity in general."

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