The Life of Charles Dickens





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London: Chapman and Hall


John Forster (1812-1876), was Dickens’s closest friend. He read proofs of many of Dickens’s works, advised him on financial and personal matters, and became Dickens’s literary executor. Known also as ‘Fuz’ or ‘Beadle of the Universe’, Forster was Dickens’s Boswell, producing the first biography, Life of Charles Dickens in 1872. Despite Forster’s suppression of facts about Dickens’s relationship with Ellen Ternan, the book was a great success. This plate by Daniel Maclise in this copy of Forster’s biography portrays Dickens reading The Chimes to his friends in John Forster’s chambers in 1844. Dickens was introduced to Forster by the novelist William H. Ainsworth.

[At 58, Lincolns Inn Fields, Monday the 2nd of December 1844 by Daniel Maclise, opposite page 242 in John Forster's The Life of Charles Dickens.]


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John Forster, “The Life of Charles Dickens,” | OUR Heritage, accessed July 24, 2024,