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Charles Dickens: My Life - Derwin Hope (Blog Tour)

"When Charles Dickens died prematurely on the 9th June 1870 aged only 58, he left behind a legacy unsurpassed in English fictional literature. But he also wanted to write his true life story and this remained undone.


150 years on from his death, I have found that sufficient material has now been uncovered to enable that narrative of his life story to be produced for the first time. Research amongst 15,000 of his letters, journalistic articles, documents and other relevant material connected to him have all combined to make it possible for me to piece together that evidence and, guided by the way he wrote his two travel books, has resulted in the production of this personal story in his own words that he so desired to tell. It shows exactly how, from difficult beginnings, he descended into acute humiliation and abject poverty, before then emerging due to his talent and incredible resolve, into one of the most famous men and popular authors the world has ever known. It chronicles his enormous public triumphs and his profound private turmoils, as well as the secret life he led when, on his own admission, he became "seized with lunacy". It includes his two momentous visits to America, and his withering and radical opinions of institutions and situations he found there, as well as those he encountered at home - all expressed in his own inimitable style.


This is his compelling and personal narrative, put together for the first time in a way that he wished his legacy to be told. It is the real and true story of his life."

Pages: 536

I received Charles Dickens: My Life by Derwin Hope for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour for Authoright. Thank you for @Faye_Reads and @Authoright for this opportunity!


Charles Dickens: My Life is an indie book that needed a little bit of love because of the current circumstances with COVID, if you also have a book that needs some love please get in touch and I'll see what I can do for you!

There a lot of awesome bloggers also reviewing this book if you fancy following the tour!

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest and most famous British writers. Described as a literary genius, his works quickly made their way around the globe. In Charles Dickens: My Life, Derwin Hope has pieced together journal entries, letters and other material to tell the story of Dickens' life.

I was so excited to read this because I love Charles Dickens' books! From Great Expectations, Oliver Twist to reading A Christmas Carol every Christmas he was truly an amazing writer, especially as his books are still relevant today in our political landscape! I really enjoyed this opportunity to be able to read and get more of an insight about his life.


I've always had a fascination with other people's life stories and reading this book has really given me a deeper appreciation for Dickens' works, especially as I now know more about the circumstances that led them to be created. I especially loved how he named characters after the people in his life. For example Fagin from Oliver Twist being based on his childhood best friend Bob Fagin and his crippled nephew being inspiration for Tiny Tim. These little facts just add even more magic to the books!


His books are known for dealing with important subjects such as poverty, inequality and so much more. It was fantastic to read that he campaigned and fought for the less fortunate in real life too. His morality and empathy for other people was simply extraordinary.


It's easy to tell that he was a stubborn man and he was definitely not afraid to speak his mind on any topic, I've got to admit I loved his brutal honesty throughout the book! However if your answer to the classic question "Which author, dead or alive, would you want as a dinner guest?" is Charles Dickens, just don't ask him for his opinion on America! It'll take all night, and although funny may be considered a bit offensive to Americans.


This book was entertaining, funny and a fantastic piece of history! Charles Dickens had such an interesting life filled with so many highs and heartbreaking lows and it was cut tragically short. Every fan of Charles Dickens needs to read this! It is poignant and so well put together. Dickens always wanted to leave behind his life story and Derwin Hope has definitely done him proud!


Thank you again to Faye, Authoright and Derwin Hope for the opportunity to read these books. You can find out more about the author below. Charles Dickens: My Life is available on GoodReads & Amazon. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram!


About the Author

Derwin Hope was born in Somerset in 1944 and attended local schools until the age of 12. He then went to the Quaker boarding school, Leighton Park in Reading, where he became Head Boy, as well as captaining the school at cricket and rugby and becoming athletics champion. He then attended the College of Estate Management, London University, where he obtained a Degree in Estate Management and played rugby for the College 1st XV before deciding to become a lawyer. He joined Middle Temple as his Inn of Court and qualified as a Barrister. Following pupillage, he became a member of Western Circuit Chambers at 3, Paper Buildings, Temple, London and their annex in Winchester and practiced in the Criminal Courts in both London (including the Old Bailey) and throughout the West Country, dealing with every type of case from shoplifting to murder. He also appeared in Courts Martial Cases in Germany, as well as acting as a specialist lawyer in Town and Country Planning inquiries and legal appeals. He wrote the book “The 1990-91 Planning Acts” as the official book on the subject for the Royal Institute of British Architects.

In 1993 he became a Recorder - a part-time judge alongside his work as a Barrister - and in 2002 became a full-time Circuit Judge. For 2 years he sat in Bolton, Greater Manchester, before being transferred to Portsmouth, the birthplace of Charles Dickens. After 2 years he transferred to Southampton, where he sat as the Resident Judge (the most senior) for 8 years and was appointed the Honorary Recorder of Southampton by the City. He retired from the law in 2014 and from the Honorary Recordership in 2020. He is married to Heidi, and they have one son, Matthew, and one daughter, Zoe.

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