A Biography of Charles Dickens again

Five years he acquired the reputation of being the

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five years he acquired the reputation of being the fastest and most accurate parliamentary reporter in London. The value of this period was that Dickens gained a sound, firsthand knowledge of London and the provinces. Dickens was very active physically. He loved taking long walks, riding horses, making journeys, entertaining friends, dining well, playing practical jokes. He enjoyed games of charades with his family, was an excellent amateur magician, and practiced hypnotism. One tends to share Shaw's opinion that Dickens, in his social life, was always on stage. He was like an eternal Master of Ceremonies, for the most part: flamboyant, observant, quick, dynamic, full of zest. Yet he was also restless, subject to fits of depression, and hot tempered, so that at times he must have been nearly intolerable to live with, however agreeable he was as a companion.
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In view of his very strenuous life it was not surprising that he died at fifty-eight from a stroke. At his death on June 9, 1870, Dickens was wealthy, immensely popular, and the best novelist the Victorian age produced. He was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, and people mourned his death the world over.
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