A breathtaking feat of scholarship' The Times. 'I can do no more than praise, recommend, insist that you buy and read this book. It supersedes all other Dickens biographies' Anthony Burgess, Independent. In Peter Ackroyd's abridged edition of his classic biography of Charles Dickens, the acclaimed biographer takes us to the heart of one of the world's greatest writers. From Dickens's birth in Portsmouth to his death at the age of just fifty-eight, Ackroyd explores the life of this renowned author and the hundreds of characters who were born with Dickens but didn't die with him, living on for ever in the pages of his books, on the radio and the television and film screens.