For public libraries, college libraries, and the more than casual biography reader- this definitive biography of Charles Dickens which includes many of Dickens' letters which have not been previously released for publication. So that now, among other things, it is definitely established that Dickens did have a romance with Ellen Lawless Ternan, and that this fearless woman was enormously influential in his thinking and writing during the last twelve years of his life. And from letters and diaries, Johnson has effected an engrossing, encompassing portrait of the man in relation to his era, in his social and political views, and in his writing. It is in particular for the real effort to evaluate Dickens in terms of his writing that Johnson should receive his greatest critical commendation. Anyone reading this book may see, perhaps more in the round than ever before, the mighty, fantastic, pathetic and heroic characters of the Dickens' works and to be privy to the creative problems that attended the birth of say a Domey is a rare experience for anyone interested in the craft of writing.... A biography which is not exclusively for scholars, but its length may frighten off the general reader who will nonetheless be rewarded by the presence of a character as fabulous as any Dickens himself ever created.