Book Reviews of The Rag and Bone Shop

The Rag and Bone Shop
The Rag and Bone Shop
Author: Jeff Rackham
ISBN-13: 9780142002254
ISBN-10: 0142002259
Publication Date: 11/26/2002
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
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2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Rag and Bone Shop on + 643 more book reviews
I found this book about the secret life of Charles Dickens to be quite entertaining. It is based on the premise that Dickens had a young mistress named Ellen Ternan who was kept quite secret from British society and was only known to a few close associates of Dickens. The book is told from 3 separate points-of-view: that of Wilkie Collins, the mystery novelist and friend of Dickens; Ellen Ternan, herself; and Georgina Hogarth, the sister of Dickens estranged wife. The Collins narrative was to me the most enjoyable. It portrays Collins as a rakish figure who encourages Dickens to go to prostitutes and enjoy a mistress. Collins is also a user of opiates including laudanum and uses this to enhance his mind in developing his novels like The Moonstone. At one point Collins concocts a scheme to shield Dickens from the arrival in England of his illegitimate son by Ternan. The scheme involved having Collins' mistress wed a dreadful deformed shopkeeper who is given the illusion that he is a baron. Of course this leads to catastrophe and affects everyone involved. I didn't find the book to be offensive or sexually explicit as stated in some reviews at Although, I'm not sure how much of this novel was factual, I would still give this one a high recommendation for anyone interested in Dickens' life.
reviewed The Rag and Bone Shop on + 70 more book reviews
A captivating and fascinating story about the private life of Charles Dickens. A most enjoyable book!