The young Dickens was so alive, so self-confident, so funny.
Biographers use historians more than historians use biographers, although there can be two-way traffic - e.g., the ever-growing production of biographies of women is helping to change the general picture of the past presented by historians.
I fell in love with Shakespeare when I was 12, and I read the whole works. Yes, I was precocious.
Throughout his life, Dickens cared passionately about orphans.
When dealing with a subject who is dead, you have this feeling of being God. You know who they're going to marry, when they're going to die. It's strange to feel so omniscient.
You become more tolerant when you become older. You're not interested in rapping people over the knuckles; you're interested in understanding them.