Here's an encouraging piece for those of us who are always looking for ways to help the younger generation learn to love Dickens. Abhilash Gaur writes The Times of India that he's been reading David Copperfield and other Dickens works to his seven-year-old son, and that though he needs to use simplified editions, he's been impressed by his son's understanding of and attraction to the plots and characters:
"I can see that my little Pip has been in love with Estella (now with Em’ly, since he is David); he has sensed trouble as the Artful Dodger leads Oliver to Fagin’s shack. He has threatened to squash Monks’ head, and he has cheered when David bites Mr Murdstone’s hand. He absolutely detests Miss Murdstone. But most of all, my David is heartbroken by mother’s death. . . . It’s good to nudge kids towards airy and cheerful books, but perhaps it’s just as well to expose them to meatier plots from literature as soon as they can stomach them."
On this note, I'd like to give a shoutout to my nine-year-old goddaughter, who recently picked out and bought David Copperfield all on her own! I suspect she may need just to dabble in it for a while before she's fully ready to take the plunge -- that's not at all a bad way to start -- but I hope that this will one day lead to a lifelong enjoyment of Dickens for her.
Thanks to John Kyriacou, who pointed us to Holly Furneaux's revelation that the mysterious Fanny Biggetywitch on Dickensian is definitely a Tony Jordan character, not a Charles Dickens character. Furneaux is an adviser on the series, so she knows whereof she speaks. (She also mentions something I hadn't heard before -- that Dora Spenlow's dog, Jip, is on the show as well!)
One other interesting piece of Dickensian news from the same source: The Dickens Museum will have a special exhibition on the series, beginning January 19.
Tomorrow in the morning and early afternoon, Turner Classic Movies offers a special treat for Dickens fans: four Dickensian movies in a row! David Copperfield (1935) starts at 7 a.m. Eastern, A Tale of Two Cities (1935) at 9:15, Great Expectations (1946) at 11:30, and Oliver Twist (1948) at 1:30.
This interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter in the Washington Post, about how "we utterly devalue the importance of caregiving roles in our society,"has been getting a bit of buzz recently. And it got me thinking in Dickensian terms (as things often tend to do!). In the interview, Slaughter makes the following point: