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The Life and Lies of Charles Dickens

About

Think you know Charles Dickens? 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.

Newly accessible archives reveal that what we know is 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.

Join author Helena Kelly as she 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.

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The Life and Lies of Charles Dickens

Type:Talk

The National Archives, Kew, London, TW9 4DU

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