Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World

Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World - Simon Callow Simon Callow's biography of Charles Dickens examines the author through a different lens: that of the theatre. In addition to being a prolific author, Dickens was fascinated by the stage, from the perspective of both audience and performer.Callow describes Dickens' life by examining primary sources (news articles, correspondence, etc.), tracking not only his rise in popularity as an author, but as he became well known not only for his dramatic readings of his own work but also as a popular actor in melodramas by Forster, Collins and a host of others.This is a perspective that I suspect most students are not given an opportunity to enjoy, as schools show Dickens via his books. It was through acting that Dickens met the woman who eventually became his mistress, Ellen Ternan. Likewise, he became acquainted with novelist Wilkie Collins; the two wrote and produced several plays together, and Collins' "The Woman in White" was serialized in one of Dickens' numerous magazines.This biography is both informative and entertaining; Callow's own perspective as a stage actor provides additional insights into Dickens' activities. I am a great admirer of well-written biographies, and this is a top-drawer example.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)