Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World by Simon Callow
Paperback $16.00
Aug 07, 2012 | ISBN 9780345803238

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Aug 07, 2012 | ISBN 9780345803238

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Aug 07, 2012 | ISBN 9780345803245

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


“A biography of Boz by a great English actor, who seeks to reverse the orthodox argument that Dickens’s obsession with theatrical drama made his books sentimental and lachrymose. . . .  Callow argues that it is Dickens’s attention to stagecraft and the power of drama that’s made folks like The Artful Dodger and Miss Havisham seem three dimensional.”
    —The Daily Beast

“In this insightful biographical study, Callow, a seasoned actor and director, shows how the theatricality that caused Dickens’ legs to swell also vastly enlarged his literary art. . . . Itself as enchanting as a well-directed stage play, this narrative will delight any lover of Dickens.”
    —Booklist, starred review

“[Simon Callow’s] admiration for his subject glistens on every page. . . . The author shows us the vast, adoring crowds and tallies the enormous psychic and physical costs of Dickens’ myriad performances and celebrity. Callow makes us wish we’d been in those crowds to watch this astonishing magician weave his literary spells.”
     —Kirkus Reviews

“A celebration, jubilant, vigorous, imaginative, and, as Dickens might have said, an all-round sizzler.”
     —John Carey, The Sunday Times (London)

“This is the book we have long been waiting for and only Simon Callow could have written it. . . . A marvelous book that deepens and enriches our understanding and enjoyment of Dickens.”
     —Michael Slater, author of Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing
“Callow . . . writes with great authority and elegant insouciance, which makes this ‘biography with a twist’ very entertaining.”
     —The Independent (London)
“It is one of the many virtues of this book that Callow not only admires his subject, but has got inside him.”
     —The Guardian (London)

“Of the several books published this year in honor of the bicentennial of Dickens’s birth, this by Callow is in many ways the best because it has all the gusto that a popular biography of Dickens—a man who “could do nothing by halves”—should possess. . . . The best biography for Dickens newcomers and a wonderful read for all.”
     —Library Journal, starred review

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Simon Callow
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top