Two hundred years ago today, on May 19, 1815, Catherine Hogarth Dickens was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Thanks to The Buzfuz for the tip!)
Of all I've read about Charles Dickens's wife and all that she went through, my favorite remains Gaynor Arnold's novel Girl in a Blue Dress. Though the story is fictionalized and the names are changed, the book is full of profound emotional and psychological truth, and pays a great tribute to this woman about whom we know so much and yet so little.
And so, in honor of her birthday, here's a passage from that book about a pivotal moment in her life:
Gamers who pre-order the upcoming game Assassin's Creed Syndicate will receive a special bonus: "The Darwin and Dickens Conspiracy Mission," in which players have to protect the two men and their work. More information is here and here.
. . . Well, only figuratively. (But it makes a good post title, doesn't it?) I'm referring to an article by Frances Wilson in the New Statesmanabout "vampiric writers" -- a vampiric writer being one who "one who sinks his, or her, fangs into the flesh of another writer, and in so doing gives him or her a second life as a fictional figure." Wilson argues that Stephen Jarvis does this to Charles Dickens in his novel Death and Mr. Pickwick, accusing Jarvis of both "demonising" and "dehumanising" Dickens.
Well, I've sent for a review copy of Jarvis's novel, so we shall see . . .
Just when we were trying to make nice with the Trollopians. . . . Here's Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker: "Trollope is that rare thing: a strong writer with a trustworthy imagination. Dickens is a far greater sentence shaper, but his view of the world is a poet’s, painted in violent and unnatural colors."
It's come to my attention that it's been quite some time (years, actually) since we did a one-word meme. The rules for these are simple: I give you a list of major characters from a Dickens novel; you commenters describe each character using only one word. Here's the first one we did, to give you an example.
So this time we're doing Great Expectations. Your list of characters is below. Go for it!
Pip: Estella: Miss Havisham: Joe: Magwitch: Herbert: Mr. Jaggers: Wemmick: Biddy: Mrs. Joe: Pumblechook: Orlick: Compeyson: Drummle:
This crowdsourcing project explores passages from Victorian novels and associates various places in London with the emotions experienced by the characters, to create an "emotional geography" of the city that Dickens and his contemporaries knew.
You can go here for more (but this writer seems to have an even harder time explaining the project than I did)!