Keith Hooper lives in the rural county of Wiltshire in England. A serious under-achiever at school, it was not until his thirties that he rediscovered education and a love for Victorian literature. He began writing poetry at this time. Starting with three self-published anthologies, his work went on to appear in various published collections.
On completing his MA and a teaching qualification, he gave up his position as a lecturer to complete a doctorate on Charles Dickens. Never having forgotten the profound effect that reading David Copperfield had had upon him, he determined to find out as much as possible about the writer and the period in which he lived. Despite lacking any formal qualifications in English, he was awarded a Ph.D from a top ranking UK university in 2009.
In 2012, to mark the bi-centenary of Dickens’s birth, he delivered his first lecture on the author at his local library. Since then, he has spoken at numerous events and literary festivals within his home county and beyond. Four of his lectures are available on YouTube, including one on Charlotte Bronte, as well as Charles Dickens.
Following his appearance as a guest speaker at a literary weekend, he was approached by an Oxford based publisher to write a biography on Charles Dickens. Representing a huge challenge in view of the iconic nature of his subject, and the existence of so many great biographies, he agreed. Deliberately choosing to write a non-academic work, he, instead, set out to produce a highly readable book, which explores the religious aspect of the writer’s life and work. Charles Dickens: Faith, Angels and the Poor was launched in the UK in September 2017 and the USA in January 2018. It is due to reach the Far East later this year.
Attending various book launch events and hearing from individual readers directly, the author has been delighted by the reviews and feedback. In particular, he has been encouraged that people are going away and reading Dickens’s work with a new perspective. Charles Dickens: Faith, Angels and the Poor is available internationally through Amazon, including a Kindle version, and on numerous other sites, as well as in bookshops.
The author is a keen supporter of an educational initiative in one of West Africa’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso. In the village of Doudou a school has been built. Designed for one hundred children, it currently has three times that number. The Fada Project also provides child sponsorship. Donations can be made through the Tew Trust (charity number 1076528 Ailsa Craig, Greens Lane, Wroughton, Swindon, England SN4 0RJ.