Novelist and Dickens biographer Jane Smiley has a marvelous article in The Atlantic, in which she talks about one particular sentence in Our Mutual Friend and how it represents to her some of the best aspects of the art of novel writing.
A feature in the Starabout the homes of famous London authors has a nice little section on the Dickens Museum, with good photos of some of the memorabilia there: Dickens's chair, and a locket with his picture on it.
In an article on faith and morality in Dickens's work, Anthony Esolen argues that "the spirit of the gospels is the spirit of his works: he is always writing with the works and words of Jesus in his blood and bones."
The novelist who created Inspector Morse writes about Bleak House for the Guardian's series "A book that changed me":
"I have . . . religiously read the novel from beginning to end three times, and with ever-increasing delight and understanding. It was, and is, the greatest novel of the lot. Why? First, the quality of the writing; second, the complexity of the plot; third, the extraordinary insight and honesty of the characterisation."
Plenty, according to citizens of Portsmouth who are angry that Charles Dickens Primary School is changing its name to Ark Dickens Primary Academy (having been taken over by the Ark group). Details are here, here, and here.
Of course Dickens has a connection to the World Cup. Everything has a connection to the World Cup these days. Dickens's connection, according to Sports Illustrated, is that there's an announcer named Ian Darke who they say sounds a lot like him. I'm not so sure about that, but see what you think!
"Accustomed to the luxury of major and minor revision, of multiple drafts, of months or years in which to add or delete a single comma, we can barely comprehend the imagination and the technical skill required to compose an eight-hundred-page masterwork in regular installments of a length determined not by the needs of the artist, but for the convenience of the printer. Though Dickens wrote notes for some of his novels, and sketched out the conclusion of Great Expectations in advance, this working method demanded a prodigious ability to keep a large cast of characters and an elaborate narrative constantly in mind. The wonderment we feel when we contemplate this strenuous mode of composition has, in my opinion, been best expressed in the question posed about Dickens by novelist David Gates: 'Was he a Martian?'"
Francine Prose, Introduction to Great Expectations (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, 2012).