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Recovery heroes from the past: Charles Dickens (1859:2003): “it was the best of times it was the worst of times”

Recovery heroes from the past: Charles Dickens (1859:2003): “it was the best of times it was the... PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide a profile of the novelist Charles Dickens.Design/methodology/approachSeveral biographies and articles about the life of Charles Dickens were examined, to see if there was evidence that he experienced mental health problems.FindingsWhile Dickens has been acclaimed for his ability to authentically portray the living conditions of the poor in the nineteenth-century Britain, there is comparatively little historical record of the fact that he may have experienced bipolar disorder. This paper suggests that he displayed many of the characteristic symptoms of bipolar.Research limitations/implicationsThe story of Dickens’ own childhood is an amazing example of personal resilience. It no doubt enhanced the quality of his writing, but it may also have “sown the seeds” of a later mental illness.Practical implicationsSo much attention has been focused on the colourful characters from Dickens’ novels, but little on the problems of the man himself.Social implicationsThe story of Charles Dickens is as fascinating as any of the fictional characters he created, if not even more intriguing. His story confirms the link between writers, creativity and mood disorders.Originality/valueGiven the huge attention and worldwide acclaim paid to the books of Charles Dickens, which have inspired numerous films as well as musicals, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the author himself and his struggles with mental illness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health and Social Inclusion Emerald Publishing

Recovery heroes from the past: Charles Dickens (1859:2003): “it was the best of times it was the worst of times”

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-8308
DOI
10.1108/MHSI-02-2018-0002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide a profile of the novelist Charles Dickens.Design/methodology/approachSeveral biographies and articles about the life of Charles Dickens were examined, to see if there was evidence that he experienced mental health problems.FindingsWhile Dickens has been acclaimed for his ability to authentically portray the living conditions of the poor in the nineteenth-century Britain, there is comparatively little historical record of the fact that he may have experienced bipolar disorder. This paper suggests that he displayed many of the characteristic symptoms of bipolar.Research limitations/implicationsThe story of Dickens’ own childhood is an amazing example of personal resilience. It no doubt enhanced the quality of his writing, but it may also have “sown the seeds” of a later mental illness.Practical implicationsSo much attention has been focused on the colourful characters from Dickens’ novels, but little on the problems of the man himself.Social implicationsThe story of Charles Dickens is as fascinating as any of the fictional characters he created, if not even more intriguing. His story confirms the link between writers, creativity and mood disorders.Originality/valueGiven the huge attention and worldwide acclaim paid to the books of Charles Dickens, which have inspired numerous films as well as musicals, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the author himself and his struggles with mental illness.

Journal

Mental Health and Social InclusionEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 9, 2018

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