In the course of writing 15 novels, which will endure as long as the language itself, Charles Dickens also became the great poet of the city. He was created by London, with his insistent energy and generous theatricality, but then in turn he recreated it as a vast echo-chamber for all the fears and delusions fostered by nineteenth- century civilisation. He remains the greatest symbolic novelist within the English tradition.
Charles Dickens by Samuel Lawrence, 1838 a National Portrait Gallery. Text a Peter AckroydReuse content