Question About Dickens Bio
I bought a copy of Edgar Johnson's CHARLES DICKENS: HIS TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH on December 29, 1986 (I know because I keep my receipts as bookmarkers). If one wanted a biography of Charles Dickens this looked as good as any and you could always rely on Penguin Books to deliver the goods. But it wasn't until I took a closer look when I got home that I discovered the mistake I had made. Penguin had let me down. The book, though 600 pages long, was abridged. Usually when a book is whittled down from its original size it will say so on the cover, but no such warning was slapped on and the back cover didn't raise any red flags either, and the preface, where one would hope something would be said, read like all was well with the world. The thing I didn't do leafing through the book at the bookstore was check out the title page. There was no reason to, but there it was as I sat all cozy in my comfy chair, "Revised and Abridged." Revised is all right, but abridged? So it has been sitting on my shelf of trade paperbacks in the dining area untouched for just over 25 years. I was teaching it a lesson for deceiving me.
Today at Goodwill I saw the complete biography in two hardback volumes in pretty good shape for $2.99 each. Question is, are they worth it? Am I really cheated with an abridged edition especially since it was published by Penguin, or is the complete set truly that much better and worth purchasing as a replacement to the single volume paperback? Anybody know? Gollum, you out there? J.D.?