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The Turning Point


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About the Author

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Magdalen College. His books include Becoming Dickens- The Invention of a Novelist, which won the Duff Cooper Prize, and The Story of Alice- Lewis Carroll and The Secret History of Wonderland, which was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. He writes regularly for publications including The Times, Guardian, TLS and Spectator. Radio and television appearances include Start the Week and The Culture Show, and he has also acted as the historical consultant on TV adaptations of Jane Eyre, Emma and Great Expectations, the BBC drama series Dickensian, and the feature film Enola Holmes. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


This tremendous book dazzles and delights... it's full of discoveries. A glorious book; revealing and unravelling Charles Dickens before our very eyes, melding his life and his work, using scholarship, wit and passion - a triumph. * Miriam Margolyes *
This immersive biography, by the author of the Costa-shortlisted The Story of Alice, had me hooked... published in a sumptuous package, with illustrations throughout. * The Bookseller, Editor's Choice *
Clever and witty, packed with fiercely academic research and erudite analysis, but written in featherlight, elegant prose. -- Natalie Haynes
The Turning Point...builds incrementally towards Bleak House...[and] makes for a very satisfying finale. A manuscript page of the novel, dense with crossings-out of emendations, is reproduced as evidence of Dickens's painstaking process of creation. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst has taken pains of his own and this wonderfully entertaining book is the result. -- Anthony Quinn * Observer *
Douglas-Fairhurst is a shrewd, amusing and original guide... [he] gives you fascinating facts... [and] a brisk and brilliant analysis of Bleak House. -- Laura Freeman * The Times *
[The Turning Point] hums with the intellectual life of the day. -- Rose Shepherd * Saga Magazine *
Taking his cue from that novel [Bleak House], Douglas-Fairhurst uses a fascinating range of interconnected sources, side-plots and telling details to dramatise the complex social and imaginative web out of which it came...He gives us history not as grand narrative or teleology but as total immersion and multiplicity. As such, Douglas-Fairhurst invites us to feel what it felt like to be Dickens in 1851. -- Lucasta Miller * Financial Times *
A fascinating biography that ultimately brings fresh insight to the life of Charles Dickens and his work as a novelist. -- Tom Williams * Spectator *
Sparklingly informative * Guardian *
Turning Point is a perceptive and enjoyable account of how deeply enmeshed Dickens's art was with the shifting cultural landscape of mid-Victorian England; it illustrates why he was the emblematic novelist of the age. -- Tomiwa Owolade * Prospect *

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