Author talk: Think you already know the story of Charles Dickens' life? Think again. Almost everything you're familiar with was first mentioned in an authorised biography written by Dickens' close friend John Forster 150 years ago. It's the version of events that Dickens himself chose to make public, and newly accessible archives reveal that it's crammed with gaps, inconsistencies, and outright lies. There's the sister whose existence Dickens kept secret and the Jewish relations whose faith he strove to conceal. There's plagiarism, fraud, and suicide. And that's only for starters. Helena Kelly, author of the acclaimed Jane Austen, the Secret Radical, retells Dickens' story from his childhood to his deathbed, uncovers the truths he tried to keep hidden, and offers a fresh - and deeply troubling - perspective on the man who remains one of Britain's best-known novelists. You won't be able to look at him - or his work - in the same way again.
Helena Kelly: The Life and Lies of Charles Dickens