The Gospel in Dickens
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April 09, 2009

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Other possibilities for future lists: Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne... who is going to carry the torch next??

I can definitely see some of the Austenbloggers wanting to do this; I'll suggest it to one or two of them. I can see the Brontes being good for this too. Heck, that one would practically write itself ("Never get involved with a man who (a) keeps a mad wife shut up in the house, (b) hangs dogs, (c) bangs his head on trees . . .")

Here are five life lessons that Charles Dickens teaches me:

1. Sacrificial love is the highest form of human expression and the sin qua non of all happiness;
2. Parents: love and honor your children; protect them from the mean and nasty world of adults; give them the safety and security they need to deeply enjoy their childhood.
3. Loyalty in friendship is always a reward in and of itself.
4. Life is exquisitely painful and exquisitely lovely at the same time: let it wound you; let it deeply wound you.
5. All our existential challenges are capable of working for the good: therefore, never lose hope and be of good cheer!

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