Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 and died in 1870. He’s the author of A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and other classic novels. Now here are some things you may not know about Charles Dickens.
1 – As a child, his family was always on the verge of economic collapse. Everything fell apart for the family in 1827. Dickens’ father was sent the Marshalsea debtors’ prison and young Charles was sent to work in Warren’s Blacking Factory. These incidents would haunt Dickens for the rest of his life.
2 – Dickens worked as law clerk, a court stenographer and even contemplated becoming an actor. Luckily for us, Dickens was ill on the day of his audition at the Lyceum Theater and couldn’t go. Can you imagine a life without Scrooge? If Dickens, who was a talented actor, had attended his audition he might not have written A Christmas Carol.
3 – In his early writing he called himself Boz. Boz? You see, one of his favorite characters in Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield was called Moses. Moses became Boses which became Boz.
4 – Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1835. There were some happy years, but in 1958 they were legally separated. One of the reasons for the separation was Dickens’ interest in the actress, Ellen Ternan.
Dickens met Ellen in 1857. Matters came to a head the next year when a bracelet that Dickens bought as a present for Ellen was accidentally delivered to the Dickens household. In a scene straight from a soap opera, Catherine discovered the bracelet and accused Charles of having an affair.
5 – One of the most fascinating aspects of Charles Dickens is that he understood the power of the media. Yes, even in the Victorian Era people had to worry about the press. In September of 1860, behind his home at Gad’s Hill Place, Charles Dickens tried to cover his tracks. He gathered “the accumulated letters and papers of twenty years” and set them ablaze in his backyard. What could we have learned had he not taken this action? We’ll never know.
Today is the first day of summer. Enjoy! Here are five literary quotes about summer to help you savor the moment.
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees–just as things grow in fast movies–I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ~ The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. ~ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
A tranquil summer sunset shone upon him as he approached the end of his walk, and passed through the meadows by the river side. He had that sense of peace, and of being lightened of a weight of care, which country quiet awakens in the breasts of dwellers in towns. ~ Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. ~ Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Is this the real me? Is that the real you? Who knows? Maybe these four quotes from literature about reality will help us sort it out.
Affery, like greater people, had always been right in her facts, and always wrong in the theories she deduced from them. ~ Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. ~ Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem. ~ The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else’s manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money! ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Today marks the 201st anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. To mark the event I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite Dickens quotes:
Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. ~ Great Expectations
At last, in the dead of the night, when the street was very still indeed, Little Dorrit laid the heavy head upon her bosom, and soothed her to sleep. And thus she sat at the gate, as it were alone; looking up at the stars, and seeing the clouds pass over them in their wild flight–which was the dance at Little Dorrit’s party. ~ Little Dorrit
“If you could see my legs when I take my boots off, you’d form some idea of what unrequited affection is.” ~ Dombey and Son
“It’s in vain, Trot, to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.” ~ David Copperfield
All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else’s manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money! ~ Great Expectations
“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” ~ A Christmas Carol
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ~ A Tale of Two Cities
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. ~ David Copperfield
“Its matter was not new to me, but was presented in a new aspect. It shook me in my habit – the habit of nine-tenths of the world – of believing that all was right about me, because I was used to it.” ~ Dombey and Son
“No one is useless in this world,” retorted the Secretary, “who lightens the burden of it for any one else.” ~ Our Mutual Friend