The young Dickens was so alive, so self-confident, so funny.
Biographers use historians more than historians use biographers, although there can be two-way traffic – e.g., the ever-growing production of biographies of women is helping to change the general picture of the past presented by historians.
Everybody is vulnerable through love of their children. Hostages to fortune.
All writers behave badly. All people behave badly.
By the time I went up to Cambridge, I was extremely quiet and well behaved, although I now meet people who remember me as not like that at all.
All the people I have written about remain with me – perhaps they are my closest friends.
I enjoyed the whole process of learning and was always happy when autumn came and school or college started up again.
As he approached his 28th birthday in February 1840, Dickens knew himself to be famous, successful and tired. He needed a rest, and he made up his mind to keep the year free of the pressure of producing monthly installments of yet another long novel.
I’ve been trying to garden all my life – it just happens that I haven’t had a big garden…until the past few years.