On this day in 1846, Dickens published the first edition of the Daily News. Poynter has a nice informative article about the founding of the paper and Dickens's journalistic career in general, with a photo of that first issue.
As highlighted in today's Daily Mail, The Drood Inquiry is now taking votes on whether Edwin is dead or alive, who marries who, and other important questions left hanging in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Go here to vote -- and then come back and tell us how you voted!
As part of a series in the Guardian about families in literature, Daniel Gooding has written about the Jarndyce family in Bleak House. He suggests, "And however difficult you may find your own family, just remember that it could be a whole lot worse."
This interview with Mark Charles Dickens (which I believe originally ran in National Geographic) discusses not only his famous great-great-grandfather, but also what other members of the family -- and a few fake members! -- are up to these days.
Lauren Laverne of the Guardian has written one of the best articles I've ever seen on Dickens and Christmas (and that's saying something). She goes beyond what everyone already knows and probes some deeper Dickensian ideas about the holiday. Here's a sample:
"It’s pretty hard not to remember the dead at Christmas, but Dickens goes further. He is adamant that we should use the day to celebrate other losses, like our failures, abandoned plans and ruined relationships. In the same essay he says: 'Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy… Welcome, all that was ever real to our hearts; and for the earnestness that made you real, thanks to Heaven!' Every time I read it I wonder why we don’t do more of that. We love the idea of Scrooge’s transformation, but this kind of self-acceptance and equanimity is probably more useful to most people."