Dicken’s Women by Miriam Margolyes and Sonia Fraser
In his novels Dickens presents a series of unrivalled portraits of women, young and old. From Little Nell to Miss Havisham, these girls and women speak to us today, making us laugh and sometimes cry. The popular British actress Miriam Margolyes will be touring the world in 2012, the bicentenary of Dickens birth, with a one-woman show about Dickens’ women, and this book accompanies the show by building on the script and expanding to include many more of the female characters Dickens described and analysed so astutely in his novels. The countries to be visited are Australia, New Zealand, the USA and India.
‘Mrs Pipchin was a marvellous ill-favoured, ill-conditioned old lady, of a stooping figure, with a mottled face, like bad marble, a hook nose, and a hard grey eye, that looked as if it might have been hammered at on an anvil without sustaining any injury.’
Brief Lives: Fyodor Dostoevsky by Anthony Briggs
A new short biography of the author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, by pre-eminent Russian scholar Professor Anthony Briggs. Described by one contemporary as ‘the Shakespeare of the lunatic asylum’, Dostoevsky famously divided critics during his lifetime. His childhood and family life have been the subject of scrutiny, most famously in inspiring Freud’s essay ‘Dostoevsky and Parricide’. In later life his membership of the Petrashevsky Circle of liberal intellectuals resulted in his prosecution by the authorities: he was forced to attend a mock execution and then exiled for four years to a Siberian prison camp. In this new biography Anthony Briggs explores the effect of Dostoevsky’s turbulent life on his literary genius.
Uncle’s Dream by Fyodor Dostoevsky
When the ageing Russian Prince, Prince K., arrives in the town of Mordasov, Marya Alexandrovna Moskaleva, a doyenne of local society life, takes him under her protection, with the aim of engineering his marriage with her twenty-three year old daughter Zina. Yet with many rivals for the hands of both parties, events are not guaranteed to run smoothly.
The gossiping and rumour-mill of the country village are deftly captured in Dostoevsky’s mock-heroic tone. A rare foray into comedy by the giant of Russian literature, Uncle’s Dreamnonetheless still possesses all the hallmarks of Dostoevsky’s psychological and philosophical writing.