HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Charles Dickens, born 7 February 1812
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”
It was great fun a couple of years ago celebrating the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth. And there is so much to celebrate with Dickens – that memorable range of characters, the drama and extraordinary plots, the social issues to which he draws attention, and the rich prose. He is one of the greatest of novelists.
My personal favourite is Bleak House because it holds so many stories which all connect up so superbly at the end. I find Esther Summerson an intriguing character – secretive, damaged by her childhood, and very complex. Generally I am not fond of Dickens’s heroines – they are far too good and dutiful for me. I prefer my heroines to have more spice and naughtiness in them. However, I love Dickens’s middle-aged women – women like Mrs Merdle and her famous bosom, or poor little Miss Flite, Miss Havisham or Aunt Betsy Trotwood.
I am celebrating Dickens’s birthday at a party by the Dickens statue in Sydney’s Centennial Park. You might like to celebrate it by reading some of his work, or listening to Martin Jarvis read it on audio, which is simply fabulous.
Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870 aged 58.
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