happy birthday. Charles Dickens (1812-1870).


Charles John Huffam Dickens.  An English writer and social critic who created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters to this day, and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the historic Victorian period.  He railed against the patterns of speech, provincialisms and superstitions that he witnessed during a visit to America in 1842.  Despite this his novel David Copperfield (1850) began with its title character introducing himself:  “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anyone else, these pages must show.  To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born, as I have been informed and believe, on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night.  It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.  In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was declared by the day and by some sage women in the neighbourhood who had taken a lively interest in me several months before there was any possibility of our becoming personally acquainted, first, that I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, that I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits; both these gifts inevitably attaching, as they believed, to all unlucky infants of either gender born towards the small hours on a Friday night.”  Rather superstitious of him, don’t you think (we need not even recount the spirits and ghosts found in A Christmas Carol, and so on).  His works, like a spirit who cannot rest until his wrongful death is avenged, are here to stay.

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