Light and Darkness in Dickens

The Mystery of Charles Dickens
A.N. Wilson
(Harper, 2020, 358 pages, $32.50)

In the Winter 2002 issue of the The Dickensian, someone named Stephanie Harvey sent a thrill through the little cosmos of Dickens studies with a short piece on Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoevsky. In “Dickens’s Villains: A Confession and a Suggestion,” Ms. Harvey reported the discovery of a previously unknown, untranslated letter of the great Russian novelist, in which he told a friend about meeting Dickens in London, 1862. The richest section of the letter read as follows: