Books: Boz Will Be Boz

THE WORLD OF CHARLES DICKENS by Angus Wilson. 302 pages. Viking Press. $12.95.

When Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian labor camp, he requested only one kind of reading matter: books by Dickens. In mid-19th century New York, ships arriving with the latest installment of Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop were met by anxious cries from the dock: "Is Little Nell dead?"

For a writer, such fame was unprecedented then, and has been unimaginable since. Not just fame, either, but ardor and devotion. In The World of Charles Dickens,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!