Charles Dickens: A Sentimental Journey in Search of an Unvarnished Portrait
Michael Harrison

    An investigative Biography (1953)

e-Book, 246 pp. with Index & Illos (Tina Rhea #30)
ISBN 978-1-55497-232-6 $10.00

Author's Note: The journey began at Strood and covered all that area between Rochester and Camden Town with which Dickens was so closely associated throughout his life. In seeking an insight into his true character Michael Harrison traces Dickens’ movements from his boyhood until his death, describes those buildings intimately connected with his life and works which can still be seen as Dickens saw them. But this is only the canvas on which the portrait is painted. For every time the author stops to look upon some nostalgic inn or neglected church he sets off on an investigation of some aspect of Dickens’ life, private or public, admirable or unsavoury, which adds a little more to our understanding of the mind which conceived that world of imperishable characters who live in the pages of his novels.

The Dickens myth which presented him as a model of domestic virtue has lived too long for any new revelations to impair the popularity of the novelist. In the years between the disclosures of Thomas Wright in 1934 and the publication by Cambridge this year of Dickens and Ellen Ternan Dickensians have fought hard to preserve the legend against all comers. If the portrait which emerges from Michael Harrison’s journey does nothing to bolster the myth it will, without doubt, do much to assist an understanding of the man.