The Gospel in Dickens
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January 20, 2011


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Ack! That's so lovely. Not only is everything he says absolutely spot-on, but it's written beautifully, as it must be, because it's G.K. Chesterton.
I love how he mentions the people kicked downstairs. Was there ever more than one baddie in Dickens kicked downstairs? The chap in Two Cities is all I can think of, but it's so very iconic that it has stuck in my mind, at least, as something that ought to happen to the majority of Dickens' baddies, even if it doesn't.

I can't think of any other baddie kicked downstairs. (And even Barsad was kicked at the top and fell down of his own accord. :D ) I suppose he must have meant it, as you suggest, in a metaphorical/iconic sense.

Ha! I have just come across a reference to kicking a man downstairs in an Agatha Christie Poirot book. Poirot and Hastings have reason to conduct some business with "an odious man," and Hastings "felt a positive tingling in the end of my boot, so keen was I to kick him down the stairs." ("Poirot Investigates," 1925)
I wonder if that was a distinct reference to Dickens and Two Cities, or if it was a common Britishism, and if it was a common Britishism, did it come about *because* of Dickens?

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