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Noteworthy Link – The Virtual Victorian

December 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Noteworthy Links 

Noteworthy Link
If you have an interest in the Victorian Era be sure to check out The Virtual Victorian website.  The writing style and images make one want to settle in with a cup of tea while they take in this beautiful and very informative blog.

Recent post topics at The Virtual Victorian include:

  • A Victorian Railway Opening…
  • Mr Brigg’s Hat: A Review By D. E. Meredith…
  • A Brief History Of Dolls Houses…

 

 

Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist

December 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Charles Dickens 

Becoming DickensWhile there’s been a lot of attention on Claire Tomalin’s Charles Dickens: A Life it isn’t the only new Dickens biography around.   Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst also gives us a look at the private life of Charles Dickens.  However Douglas-Fairhurst’s book is a little different.  Rather than focusing on the entire life of Dickens, the biography examines Dickens’s life in the 1830s.

Becoming Dickens tells the story of how an ambitious young Londoner became England’s greatest novelist. In following the twists and turns of Charles Dickens’s early career, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst examines a remarkable double transformation: in reinventing himself Dickens reinvented the form of the novel. It was a high-stakes gamble, and Dickens never forgot how differently things could have turned out. Like the hero of Dombey and Son, he remained haunted by “what might have been, and what was not.”

Douglas-Fairhurst’s provocative new biography, focused on the 1830s, portrays a restless and uncertain Dickens who could not decide on the career path he should take and would never feel secure in his considerable achievements.

Today in Literature

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Charles Dickens, Noteworthy Links, Site News 

Charles Dickens
Are you familiar with Today in Literature?  It’s an informative site that features a daily article on literary history.  Today’s post is about Dickens’s 1867 trip to America.

If you like Today in Literature you’ll love our daily quote page! The daily quote page features a snippet of the Today in Literature daily article, a daily quote and a LitQuote Duo.  It’s truly bookmark worthy!

The House of Silk – a NEW Sherlock Holmes Novel

November 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: LitNews, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

House of SilkIn January of  this year Anthony Horowitz made a surprising announcement at a meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society.  The Conan Doyle Estate had authorized Horowitz to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel.    It was an absolutely unprecedented event.  The Estate had never before made such an arrangement.

The new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, is now available and getting great reviews.

The Huffington Post ~ A book firmly rooted in the style of Doyle, faithful to the character as created and with just enough wiggle room to allow the author to say all the things he’s been longing to say about the world of 221B Baker Street…THE HOUSE OF SILK will satisfy.

Publishers Weekly (starred review) ~ The hype surrounding what’s being billed as the first pastiche ever officially approved by the Conan Doyle estate is amply justified … authentic. Horowitz gets everything right-the familiar narrative voice, brilliant deductions, a very active role for Watson, and a perplexing and disturbing series of puzzles to unravel-and the legion of fans of the originals will surely be begging for Horowitz to again dip into Watson’s trove of untold tales.

If you have a Kindleand are a little unsure about the whole Conan Doyle replacement issue, then you can download a sample chapter and check it out before you commit to buying the book.

Grip the Raven

November 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Charles Dickens 

“Halloa, halloa, halloa! What’s the matter here! Keep up your spirits. Never say die. Bow wow wow. I’m a devil, I’m a devil, I’m a devil. Hurrah!”

The above  is a quote from Baranaby Rudge by Charles Dickens.  Can you identify the speaker of these lines?  A gold star to you if you said, “Grip the raven.”

What you may not know, and I didn’t until recently, is that Dickens really had a pet raven named Grip.  While Dickens was writing Barnaby Rudge he wanted to get a better idea about what a pet raven would be like.  So he acquired Grip.  That raven was quite a handful!  Because of Grip’s propensity for biting children he was banished from the home and  ended up living in the carriage house.

Edgar Allan Poe

Grip’s influence didn’t end with Dickens either.  An interesting aside is that Grip may have provided inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.  While there’s no direct evidence that one work inspired the other, it does seem likely.  Poe read Barnaby Rudge and even reviewed it for Graham’s Magazine.

In 1841 Grip passed away Dickens had him stuffed.  Grip was sold in an auction after Dickens died and eventually came to be owned by Philadelphia’s Colonel Richard Gimbel as part of his collection of objects relating to Edgar Allan Poe.  Later Gimbel’s collection was donated to the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Jane Austen’s Death – Could it have been Arsenic Poisoning?

November 14, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Biographies 

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen

Jane Austen is famous for her  works of romantic fiction like Emma as well as Pride and Prejudice.  The beloved author was born on December 16, 1775 and died on July 18, 1817.

Over the years many people have wondered the cause of Jane Austen‘s death at the age of 41.  Was it Addison’s disease?  Maybe Hodgkin’s lymphoma?  Now Lindsay Ashford, a British crime novelist and journalist, puts forth a new theory in her book The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen.  Ashford speculates that Jane Austen died of arsenic poisoning. Evidently arsenic was a common ingredient in medicine during the time of Jane Austen.  Talk about the cure being worse than the disease!

 

 

 

Ten Facts About Charles Dickens

November 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Charles Dickens 

Here are ten quick facts about Charles Dickens from the folks at AbeBooks.com.  One of the facts concerns Dickens participation in the Ghost Club.  I’ve read a lot about Dickens, but not much about that aspect of his life.  Interesting!

Joss Whedon Does Shakespeare

November 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: LitNews, LitQuotes in Movies 

ShakespeareYes, it’s true.  Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly is working on a version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Here’s part of the the press release from the movie’s website:

Santa Monica, CA (October 24th, 2011)

Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.

Charles Dickens and Captain Murderer!

October 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Charles Dickens 

Charles Dickens Are you ready for a gruesome Halloween tale featuring Charles Dickens?  Then head on over to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s site to learn about Charles Dickens, the Supernatural and Captain Murderer.

While our partner site, Charles Dickens Info, touches on Captain Murder the article from HSP provides more chilling details of the vile villain.

The young woman who brought me acquainted with Captain Murderer had a fiendish enjoyment of my terrors, and used to begin, I remember – as a sort of introductory overture – by clawing the air with both hands, and uttering a long low hollow groan. So acutely did I suffer from this ceremony in combination with this infernal Captain, that I sometimes used to plead I thought I was hardly strong enough and old enough to hear the story again just yet. The Uncommercial Traveller – Nurse’s Stories by Charles Dickens

If you haven’t heard about The Uncommercial Traveler, here’s the scoop.  In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round.  The Uncommercial Traveller articles by Dickens appeared in that journal.  Seventeen Uncommercial Traveller articles were printed in All the Year Round in 1860.  Dickens wrote eleven more articles between 1863 and 1865.  A few more were written between 1868 and 1869.

Holy Christmas Carol, Batman!

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Charles Dickens, LitQuotes in Comics 

Batman: NoelOn November 8th DC Comics is going to release Batman: Noel.  In this graphic novel the Dark Knight looks at his past, present and future.  (Hmmm . . . does this sound like any Dickens character we know?)  Robin, Catwoman, Superman and The Joker all take part in this journey.

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