Here's part 1, by Nina. If you want to write part 2, don't forget to post your request in the comments section!
Everybody said that Mr. Dickens could bring his characters to life. You could ask anyone you knew. If you asked the rich lady seated primly in the front row, face immoveable, she might fan herself with a green screen and answer demurely that she thought he did, perhaps; if you asked the schoolboy, he might chuckle his “I suppose so” to appear manly among his fellows, but everyone agreed; when Charles Dickens read his books aloud, it was as if his characters existed in the room and could listen, too.
And what did Mr. Dickens think, himself? Surely, it is impossible to say – for who can plumb the depth of such a genius’ mind? – but in his crisp blue coat with brass buttons, his very hair swept carelessly back in the fervor of his performance, the sparkling eye and confident voice, which shifted effortlessly form the lofty speech of good English bureaucrats to the tiny squeak of the most wretched orphan who ever trod the streets of London – observe all this, the very picture of vitality and confidence, and you may derive a picture of the author’s opinion of himself. And yet, despite his vivacity, despite the fact that thousands loved him, and that he, more or less, loved himself, there was also a conceit, a - dare we say, a very arrogance, that pervaded his character? And that – we are only suggesting, of course – he sometimes cared less for others, and more for himself, than was quite required or attractive in a man of his position? Whether these flaws are founded (and recall, we only speculate), we shall see presently – for if ever they were to be magnified or changed, the following adventure would hasten such alteration.