Claire Tomalin's acclaimed new biography of Britain's great novelist paints a portrait of an extraordinarily complex man. Today's themes are his early successes as a writer, and new beginnings.
As part of Dickens on the BBC Radio 4 broadcasts extracts from Claire Tomalin's acclaimed new biography of the novelist who called himself the "inimitable". He was the writer so "charged with imaginative energy that he rendered nineteenth century England crackling, full of truth and life, with his laughter, horror and indignation - and sentimentality."
Read by Penelope Wilton
Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard.
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