Sunday, October 22, 2006

Charles Dickens

It's no "Bleak House" or "Great Expectations," but it nevertheless has held a curious grip on certain readers. Ever since "Drood" was published shortly after Dickens's death, people have puzzled over how it might have ended -- and specifically whether the character of Edwin Drood was murdered and who might have killed him. --John J. Miler, The Continuing Story of 'Edwin Drood', The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2009, review of Drood, by Dan Simmons, and The Last Dickens, by Matthew Pearl

There is a lost book by Dickens, one that recorded some of the most remarkable encounters of his life. Within it, he catalogued the stories told him by the women – prostitutes, confidence tricksters, thieves and attempted suicides – whom he interviewed before they were admitted to Urania Cottage, the refuge for fallen women he established in Shepherd’s Bush in the 1840s and effectively directed for a decade or more. --John Bowen, Dickens's Refuge for Fallen Women, The Times Literary Supplement, February 18, 2009, review of Charles Dickens and the House of Fallen Women, by Jenny Hartley

Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry says it has perfected the recipe for Oliver Twist's most famous meal — workhouse gruel.

Members of the society consulted historical sources and Charles Dickens' beloved novel to recreate the porridge, which is made from water, oats, milk and an onion. --The Associated Press, Chemists concoct Dickensian gruel, January 13, 2009, ABC News (via JSOnline)

Reading Dickens Four Ways: How Little Dorrit fares in multiple text formats, by Ann Kirschner, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2009 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

Life would be poorer without the characters to whom he provided an introduction: Skimpole, Mrs. and Mr. Jellaby, Scrooge, Micawber, Edwin Drood, Miss Flite, Buzfuz, Fagan, Pickwick and Pecksniff, and on and on. --Richard John Neuhaus, The Fantastic Shadows of Charles Dickens, The Public Square column, First Things, November 2008

The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is the quintessential yuletide tale, read and rehashed the world over. Why has it been so perennially popular? The Week, December 22, 2006

The Case for Ebeneezer, by Butler Shaffer, Lew Rockwell, December 13, 2004

The eternal mystery, by Peter Ackroyd, Guardian, December 4, 2004

Hands that mould the imagination: How Great Expectations moves the reader as great fiction should, by Sarah Waters, The Guardian, March 1, 2003


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