Shortlisted for: Costa Biography Award
Even to his contemporaries, Charles Dickens was a phenomenon. A political radical, a demonically hardworking journalist, the father of ten children, an actor and playwright, a newspaper editor, a supporter of liberal social causes, but above all else a peerless novelist and the creator of immortal characters.
Yet the brilliance concealed a selfdestructive character and a man often at war with himself. This literary trailblazer, and frequent contender for the title of the greatest Briton of all time, went from pawning his own books aged 12 to pay his fathers debts to having 100,000 readers a week at the height of his fame.
22,000 people agreed to clean toilets for WiFi because they did not read the terms.
Tools designed to ensure computer code in smart cars does not crash has been inspired by hungry penguins.
The rounded sleeping capsules send guests drifting into ocean before arriving on desert island by morning.
Sitting on the saddle activates the part of the brain responsible for learning, a study has claimed.
Scientists are appealing for more people to donate their brains for research after they die.
Life on Earth may have arrived from Mars on an asteroid, scientists have claimed.
Lunar mission scheduled at the end of 2017 could find out if beer can be brewed on the moon.
A bottle used to teach children how far litter can travel ended up on Scottish beach after 8,700-mile journey.