Dickens’ burning passion for theater has often been overlooked by fans of his novels. A keen playwright and actor, he staged performances for which he oversaw every detail, and personally adapted many of his own fictional works. As a consummate self-publicist, he also undertook numerous stage tours and public readings of his own work. For Dickens, and for large swathes of Victorian society, theatre was a way of life and a hub of community: audience and performers would swell out onto the streets and into nearby drinking establishments after each show. Drawing on a variety of sources, both fictional and journalistic, this collection portrays a career’s worth of Dickens’ musings, critiques, and opinions on one of his most revered passions and pastimes—the theater.