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Radio & Podcast

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Dickens vs Tolstoy

Intelligence Squared


This event by Intelligence Squared is an attempt to decide who is the greatest novelist—Charles Dickens (1812-1870) or Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)?

Both Dickens and Tolstoy had experiences of displacement from family as children. Dickens was left in a foster care situation while his father was in debtors’ prison, and Tolstoy was orphaned at age 9.

John Mullan argues for Dickens and Simon Schama for Tolstoy. The debate is augmented by a cast of actors who read from both authors’ works.

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