Charles Dickens was a superb public performer, a great orator and one of the most famous of the Eminent Victorians. Slight of build, with a frenzied, hyper-energetic personality, Dickens looked much older than his fifty-eight years when he died – an occasion marked by a crowded funeral at Westminster Abbey, despite his waking wishes for a small affair. Experiencing the worst and best of life during the Victorian Age, Dickens was not merely the conduit through whom some of the most beloved characters in literature came into the world. He was one of them. Filled with the twists, pathos, and unusual characters that sprang from this novelist’s extraordinary imagination, this book looks back from the legendary writer’s death to recall the key events in his life. In doing so, A.N. Wilson seeks to understand Dickens’ creative genius and enduring popularity.