Where can I find more information about Dickens's life?

If you are looking to confirm a simple date or event in Dickens's life, check our Dickens chronology.

For more in depth questions about the life of Dickens, consult one of the following biographies:

  • John Forster's The Life of Charles Dickens remains an invaluable resource. First published between 1872 and 1874 by Chapman and Hall, the book is currently out of print and often difficult to find. Most university libraries, however, will have a copy of a later edition. You can also access a hypertext version of the Forster biography at Mitsuharu Matsuoka's Charles Dickens website.

  • Johnson, Edgar. Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph. 2 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952. This is often called the "definitive" biography of Dickens, and is indispensable to any Dickens scholar.

  • Ackroyd, Peter. Dickens. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.

  • Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography. New York: Avon, 1990. 

  • Epstein, Norrie. The Friendly Dickens. New York: Viking, 1998. 

  • Newsom, Robert. Charles Dickens Revisited. New York: Twayne Publishers, 2000. 

  • Smiley, Jane. Charles Dickens. New York: Viking, 2002. 

  • Slater, Michael. Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.