[2015] Mary Thomas: Charles Dickens

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[2015] Mary Thomas: Charles Dickens

1. Dickens’s house had a secret door in the form of a fake bookcase. The fake books included titles such as ‘The Life of a Cat’ in 9 volumes. This was at his home at Gad’s Hill, in Kent. He also reputedly had a series of fake titles called ‘The History of a Short Chancery Suit’ in 47 volumes (a reference to the very long Chancery case which inspired his novel, Bleak House).2. In his courtship letters to her, Dickens addressed his future wife as ‘dearest Mouse’ and ‘dearest darling Pig’. These were almost certainly meant as terms of endearment, but it’s tempting to respond to them differently from our retrospective position: Dickens’s affection for his wife soon dwindled after they were married, and he seemed to harbour more romantic and sentimental interest in her sisters than in poor Catherine herself. When his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth died suddenly, aged 17, in 1837 (in Dickens’s arms), he was devastated. But his grief appears to have been disproportionate: he kept her clothes in the house and wore her ring for the rest of his life.3. On days when he gave public readings, Dickens had two tablespoons of rum with fresh cream for breakfast, and a pint of champagne for tea. Half an hour before the start of the reading itself, he would also drink a raw egg beaten into a tumbler of sherry. Dickens’s public readings were hugely popular, both in Britain and America; when he gave his first public reading in America, the line of people in New York City queuing for tickets was almost a mile long.4. The Oxford English Dictionary credits him with the first use of butter-fingers, crossfire, dustbin, fairy story, slow-coach, and whoosh. He also gets the credit for ‘boredom’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, coined in his novel Bleak House (1852-3), but this has since been traced back even earlier, to 1830.5. In 2009, an ivory toothpick once used by Charles Dickens was sold at auction for $9,000. Made of ivory and gold, the implement is engraved with Dickens’s initials. It was originally expected to fetch $3,000-$5,000, but the final sale was for a whopping $9,150 (£5,625). An authentication letter written by Dickens’s sister-in-law indicates that Dickens used the toothpick up to his death in 1870.

Some of Charles Dickens most famous works are as follows:1. A Christmas Carol2. David Copperfeld3. Our Mutual Friend4. The Pickwick Papers5.Oliver Twist6.Nicholas Nickleby7.The Old Curiosity Shop8.Barnaby Rudge9.Martin Chuzzlewit10.Dombey and Son11.Bleak House12.Hard Times13.Little Dorrit14.A Tale of Two Cities15.Great Expectations16.The Mystery of Edwin Drood For more, go to http://www.charlesdickensinfo.com/novels/complete-works/

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. When Charles Dickens was 12, his father was arrested because he was always spending money. Charles Dickens worked at a shoe blacking factory to help his family until his father inherited money to get them out of debt. In 1827, he had to once again go to work, this time at a clerks office, which is the time that he began his career.

Charles Dickens

Early Life



A short video summerizing Charles Dickens life


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