Tom Williams

The year of living decisively: The Turning Point, by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, reviewed

Dickens was not originally a novelist but it was in 1851, a tumultuous year in many respects, that he discovered his true purpose: to use fiction to comment on the state of the nation

A scene from Bleak House, which Dickens began writing in 1851. Credit: Getty Images

Already a subscriber? Log in

This article is for subscribers only

Subscribe and get your first month of access for free. After that it’s just £10.99 a month.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Enjoy Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Explore our online archive, going back to 1828


A blooming good offer

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting the next 3 months for £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in