Charles Dickens: A Lifetime of Storytelling; A Legacy of Change

Published by Templar and written by Catherine Wells-Cole, this detailed book is a cornucopia of information which will satisfy even the most inquisitive young mind. It forms part of Templar’s Historical Notebook series.

 

The covers of this book are crowded with images of Victorian artefacts, overlaid on a background painting of Dickensian London. The first pleasure, on opening the book (which is designed like an old fashioned locking notebook) is to discover the simulated marbled endpapers, which sets the tone for all that is to follow.

Each opening is themed, covering Childhood, Family Life, Fame, School, Prisons, Workhouses, Orphans, London, Industry, Theatre, Christmas, America and Legacy. Each theme is a rich seam of information waiting to be mined, from biographical details about Charles Dickens to photos, images, plans of buildings, maps and reproduction book covers from his novels. The social history which motivated much of Dickens’ writing is carefully tracked and woven into the book using facsimiles of original documents.

A synopsis is provided for each novel which is mentioned, together with reproductions of original illustrations. Dickens’ letters can be opened and read, flaps can be lifted and overlays moved to reveal further information. Discover little-known facts about Dickens’ illustrators, friends and family.

This book should be purchased for every Library and classroom. It will immerse children completely in every aspect of the world of Dickens. It stands alone as a very readable, outstanding non-fiction text. It would also function as a resource book within a Victorians topic or for those teachers and parents wanting to introduce their children to the world of Dickens and his unparalleled stories whilst still in Primary School.

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