Being so involved with Dickens in for last month's Writing Game I was delighted to read this succinct conclusion by the indefatigable Susan Hill on Dickens on the Dove Grey Reader site. See also Susan's interesting views to the filming of A Woman in Black.
To quote: 'Those still matter but after many years of reading him you come to see how balanced Dickens is, how the political and humanitarian issues are offset by family happiness, requited love, and above all, by humour. The irony and bleakness are countered by the sweetness, and yes, the sentimentality, of the love affairs. There is nothing, nothing that he does not know about, understand and explain by presenting it in fiction. Domestic violence, the betrayal of children’s innocence, ‘the insolence of office and the law’s delays,’ pomposity and self-regard, pride, humility, self-sacrifice, altruism, greed….it is all, all in Dickens. I often wonder if I need any other writer.'