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Charles Dickens: The Last of the Great Men

Charles Dickens: The Last of the Great Men
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Volume 11 of the Wiseblood Classics Series, paperback, 216 pages.

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G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) wrote nearly one hundred books in thirty-five years. His writing is both uncannily lucid and filled with the most provocative paradoxes. Chesterton wrote this literary biography as a defense of, homage to, and hospitable criticism of Charles Dickens. As with almost everything he wrote, CHARLES DICKENS: THE LAST OF THE GREAT MEN bursts with brilliant, tangential musings on all things. 

From the text:
  The hour of absinthe is over. We shall not be much further troubled with the little artists who found Dickens too sane for their sorrows and too clean for their delights. But we have a long way to travel before we get back to what Dickens meant: and the passage is along a rambling English road, a twisting road such as Mr. Pickwick travelled. But this at least is part of what he meant; that comradeship and serious joy are not interludes in our travel; but that rather our travels are interludes in comradeship and joy, which through God shall endure for ever. . . And all roads point at last to an ultimate inn, where we shall meet Dickens and all his characters: and when we drink again it shall be from the great flagons in the tavern at the end of the world.

Wiseblood Books is a publishing line particularly favorable toward works of fiction, poetry, and philosophy that render truths with what Flannery O'Connor called an unyielding "realism of distances." Such works find redemption in uncanny places and people; wrestle us from the tyranny of boredom; mock the pretensions of respectability; engage the hidden mysteries of the human heart, be they sources of either violence or courage; articulate faith and doubt in their incarnate complexity; dare an unflinching gaze at human beings as "political animals"; and suffer through this world's trials without forfeiting hope. Our WISEBLOOD CLASSICS series brings hard-to-find works back into being and introduces great books to a new generation. 

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