The Gospel in Dickens
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June 22, 2010


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Uriah/Agnes (I think this one will win simply by virtue of Uriah being in it!)

The Squeers
The Sowerberrys
Bumble and Mrs. Corney

Uriah and Agnes
Mr Pecksniff and Mary
Sikes and Nancy
Mr and Mrs Squeers
Arthur Gride and Madeline Bray
Bradley Headstone and Lizzie Hexum
Edith Dombey and James Carker (who really, really gave me the creeps and made me want to commit bloody murder)

Hey Gina, can you give us a hint on what'll happen with the winners?

Mmm, let's just say we're going to have a little fun with them. :-)

Oooh, I hope it's a fan video for the couple, lol!

Not exactly. Let me put it this way: It's something I can make myself, without having to call in assistance. Although I may call upon you all to assist just for the fun of it!

Agnes Wickfield and Uriah Heep - it gives me shivers just thinking of the two together.

Daniel Quilp deserves to be on the list twice - for his sadistic mistreatment of Mrs. Quilp and for terrorizing Little Nell.

Bill Sykes and Nancy, Bradley Headstone and Lizzie Hexam, John Jasper and Rosa Bud. Three men with a murderous edge to their creepiness.

Josiah Bounderby and Louisa Gradgrind, Jonas Chuzzlewit and Merry Pecksniff - sadly, sometimes even the creepiest couples end up together.

Seth Pecksniff and Mary Graham, Arthur Gride and Madeline Bray.

I think it mildly odd that people couple up Bradley Headstone (the 'Dark Prince') with Lizzie Hexam. If you go back and carefully review OMF, Lizzie never once encourages Bradley, nor does she consider it in her own mind. In fact, she pushes him off every opportunity that she can; culminating in the horror in the cemetery at dusk when he smashes his fist on the gravestone. She knows that something is completely 'off' about the man. That 'pairing' exists completely in Headstone's delusions, and within those of Lizzie's younger brother's. Just my tuppence.

Yes, but remember, we've been defining "couple" pretty broadly in these competitions in order to widen the field. Sydney and Lucie from the last one were never a real couple either. And Agnes never encouraged Uriah.

Perhaps "pairing" would have been a better word.

You know I was sitting out on the patio reading Thomas Hardy's, "The Return of the Native" and I had this niggling thought that that might be what you guys were up to with this exercise. I came back to 'qualify' my comment and see that you have 'caught' me already.

Well, all I can say is, "Oh, the horror, the horror..." I can't imagine, in my wildest nightmares, Lizzie and Headstone together. The man was the personification of Evil, and she of Goodness. While there is a yin and yang of putting them together, I can't stomach the notion. ;-)

...and you're right that I didn't catch the references to ATOTC or DC, it was the reference to the characters in Dickens's magnum opus, "Our Mutual Friend," that caught my eye. OMF is in my 'exalted' top-five favorite novels of all time!

I can understand how you feel, Chris, and I'm sorry for grossing you out!

Here are mine:

Nancy and Bill
Clara Copperfield and Edward Murdstone
Agnes Wickfield and Uriah Heep
Louisa Gradgrind and Josiah Bounderby
Alfred and Sophronia Lammle

(I may think of more later!)

Wow, almost everyone has done Uriah/Agnes! (I should really write an AU fic with this pairing and freak everyone out, lol.)

And Chris, I actually wouldn't say Headstone is the personification of evil, especially compared to other Dickens villains (*like* Uriah Heep, who David seemed to think was the devil incarnate). Headstone was actually one of the more human, with a reason given for his madness. Doesn't make him really more sympathetic though (and definitely not worthy of Lizzie!).

"Well, all I can say is, "Oh, the horror, the horror..." I can't imagine, in my wildest nightmares, Lizzie and Headstone together. The man was the personification of Evil, and she of Goodness. While there is a yin and yang of putting them together, I can't stomach the notion."

I agree with you there. And also with Nina's rebuttal, because evil doesn't exist in a vacuum. It works on something in someone's life to make itself grow. Just because Headstone had a "reason" for his evil actions doesn't make them any the less a personification of evil. It shows us what evil really is.
And that's why Lizzie and Headstone together belongs at or near the top of the list of Creepiness. :D

What I love about the characterization of Bradley is that it's such a devastatingly accurate portrait of the guy who has an "I'm a nice guy, so the girl I want should automatically love me" mentality -- and of what that mentality can lead to. There are so many of those guys around today that I'm tempted to say Dickens was ahead of his time with the character. But it's possible they had a lot of them in his time as well!

^ ^
Good point, miss Gina. :)
BTW, I'm frantically typing up the last part of the fanfiction and I'll send it in some time tomorrow. :)


Gina, I surmise that they did have a lot of "those guys" around then too. I still maintain that Headstone is the "Dark Prince," and the most realistic psychopathic personality that Dickens has introduced into any of his novels. His previous villains are much more satirical. In my opinion, Headstone is his darkest, bleakest, and most dangerous, by far.

Jonas Chuzzlewit has just jumped several notches in my personal "creepiness index". I am in the process of rereading Martin Chuzzlewit for the first time in many years and just came to the chapter where Jonas visits the Anglo-Bengalee Life Assurance Company to inquire about buying a life insurance policy for Merry "without bothering her about it". I had completely forgotten about that. I can't think of another Dickens villian who would start plotting to murder his wife for the insurance money right after marrying her.

I'll bet Jeremiah Flintwinch would have, if his wife hadn't been useful to have around the house. :-) Oh, and that reminds me to add Jeremiah and Affery to my list!

As for "Martin Chuzzlewit," I really need to read it. I'm starting to get embarrassed that there's still one Dickens novel I haven't read.

There seems to be a preponderance of creepy couples where it's the man who's creepy and the woman who's sweet and sad and innocent. Are there any where it's the other way around? Or where the woman is as creepy as the man?
I can think of three, I think: The Squeerses, the Defarges, and the Beadle and the orphanage lady in "Oliver Twist." Oh, and Fanny Squeers' pursuit of Nicholas! Slightly creepy, slightly pathetic, and very funny. Oh, and poor Mr Snagsby with his "little woman."

And don't forget the horrible Mr. Quilp and his poor wife from "The Old Curiosity Shop" for the horrible-man-innocent-woman category.

I don't know if you'd call them creepy or just sad, but there's Joe and Mrs. Joe Gargery. If ever there were a creepy woman and a sweet man . . .

What about the Lammles? Sophronia Lammle (name?) certainly held her own in that pairing.

Oh, another one I forgot: Estella and Bentley Drummle. Super-creepy.

Yeah, I almost included Estella and Bentley in my list too. With the possible exception of Pickwick Papers, you could pick a worthy candidate for best "creepy couple" from any Dickens novel.

[Ed. note: David, I'm very sorry, but I had to censor the rest of your comment. Some of our people who are in the middle of the "Barnaby Rudge" read don't know about that particular plot point yet! --GRD]

Hey, when does the voting start for this? :)

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten -- life has just been an absolute madhouse lately. I'll try to get it up soon.

Estella and Bentley are the worst.

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