The Dickens you say

The Dickens you say has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. Dickens is an older euphemism for the devil. Makes sense when someone says something scared the dickens out of you.

Charles Dickens sketch 1842
1842 sketch of Dickens
 before tour of the United States.
I've read most of Charles Dickens" books. I read most of them in my twenties. As I entered young adulthood with all of it challenges, Dickens was there to give me comfort in his tales. Dickens clearly exposed the injustices of society of his day. Pearl Buck was said to read his novels throughout her life.

An interesting tidbit of Dickens life is that he would go on speaking tours and was immensely popular. Before becoming a writer, Charles Dickens wanted to be an entertainer.  His tours would be compared to going to a Rock star concert today. Audiences looked forward to going. His concern for social inequities of the day helped the poor and downtrodden.

Criticism of Dickens work was that it was filled with sentimentality and overdrawn characters in critiques of Virginia Wolfe or Oscar Wilde. Clearly there is a tremendous difference in style between Charles Dickens and these contemporaries. Most writers and the audience of his generation recognized the genius of his writing.

Dickensian refers to the writing of Charles Dickens with humorously drawn unattractive characters or the deep poverty of the lower classes.

Charles Dickens' website   http://www.dickens-online.info/

You can get free downloads of his books with the Gutenberg Project. Charles Dickens books  http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/37




Comments

  1. I think A Christmas Story is pure genius. Love that story.

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    1. Brilliance is what I think too of a writer like Dickens.

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  2. I recently read Martin Chuzzlewit. Most people I know don't know about that one.

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    1. I haven't read that one. I think I will read it this summer. I haven't revisited Dickens in years.

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  3. Great Expectations haunts me to this day. No, one day I hope to start re-reading classics.

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    1. I know what you mean about one day. We seem to race around. A woman who was a fourth cousin who was looking for a connection with my family turned out to be 84 living in assisted living with a laptop. That may be us one day. But hopefully, we will be catching up with our reading.

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  4. My first intro to Dickens was in translation - A tale of two cities and Oliver Twist, as a child. Read his books in the original much later, probably also in my twenties. A Tale of Two Cities remains a favourite till now, often go back and read bits of it. Didn't know the euphemism, did it materialise after or before Charles Dickens? If before, rather awkward to have a name that's a euphemism for the devil, especially in Charles' days.

    Nilanjana.
    From Madly-in-Verse
    Theme : Arabiana

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    1. The intro to The Tale of Two Cities, "It was the worst of times, it was the best of times" still rings true today. Such a memorable start of a book.
      From what I read the euphemism was in Shakespeare. I know there has been and even today some think to name an evil makes it stronger and gives it more life. In the United States with people who's family come from all over the world, some have names that are awkward in English. A popular car in the United States they had to rename in Mexico. It was the nova which means "no go" in Spanish.

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  5. Hi Ann - fascinating bits of history ... I've a friend here who I'm helping with his Memoir and he's a Dickens fan ... so I get the odd snippet added in to this stories to type up. Dickens is all embracing isn't he - and records the huge challenges of life for the working poor 170 years ago ... Great Expectations is the one I can envisage ... the cobwebs, misty marshes, tales of 'nastiness' ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I had a lot of obstacles in my twenties and to think I dipped into Dickens books for a relief says a lot to how much of the human spirit was wove in his stories.
      I don't know if it is my English ancestry or Dickens; but, I have always wanted to live for awhile in England with it's moors and the bleak hills of Wales in the distance. I doubt it happens. I just feel that pull. Imagine if all of us Yanks, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders showed up in England, we would make it quite a hell with overcrowding. So I guess it is good it will never happen. lol

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  6. I think the only one I've actually read is A Tale of Two Cities. It was a long time ago, but enjoyable. :)
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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    1. The novels are so long compared to what we read today. I was lucky in that I lived in a region that believed in the classics. There is so much pop culture today, it is hard to see these books.

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  7. Have you read "Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World," by Simon Callow? It's an excellent look at Dickens' theatrical presentations, such as readings of his work. I enjoyed it tremendously.

    Sharon E. Cathcart
    Award-winning Author of Fiction Featuring Atypical Characters
    #atozchallenge

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    1. I have not. Thank you so much. I am looking the book up.

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  8. I have to say, I haven't read any Dickens cover to cover. Oliver Twist I know well from the film. I did have the good luck to be in New York when Miriam Gargoyles (she played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films) performed her incredible one-woman show, Dickens' Women, where she discusses the women in his novels, and portrays many of them (and a few of the men, too!) brilliantly.

    Phillip | D is for Dream Delivery

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    1. I was lucky in that people still read the classics when I was a young woman so I did too. They are intense books. Thanks for visiting.

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  9. I have also read ' A tale of 2 cites' it was a good one!

    Visiting from #Atoz2017
    http://slimexpectations.com/2017/04/1339/

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    1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Thanks for visiting.

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  10. I have never read Dickens but am of course familiar with his work through plays, movies and musicals.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  11. Fascinating. I didn't know the difference between dickens and Dickens:)
    Thanks, Ann. Also for the kind mention. You rock. I left a comment on Monday's post.

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    1. I was going to make a snide comment about the phrases referring to Charles Dickens. So it was a surprise for me too. It's good to do a little research. lol

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  12. When we did a Tale of Two Cities in high school, I couldn't participate in the discussion because I couldn't put it down and was too far ahead! I've always been a fan of his work.

    A to Z Challenge: Discount!

    Isa-Lee Wolf

    A Bit 2 Read
    @IsaLeeWolf

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    1. You were the student. I taught kids like you. Thanks for visiting.

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  13. Dickens sure knew how to weave a perfect tale

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  14. I need to catch up on my Dickens. Haven't read any in years.

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    1. The dickens you say. I need to do the same. But when with Mark Twain's autobiography lying unread.

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  15. Aha! I had a feeling my grandma wasn't referring to Mr. Charles when she spoke his last name ;-)

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    1. lol, our grandparents had a way with euphemisms. It's a shame they can't become a bit more stylish in movies. They might return.

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  16. I have never been able to read Dickens, although my dad has read them all, over and over again. Thanks for telling us a bit more about him!

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    1. You're welcome Em. Thanks for visiting.

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  17. Never knew Dickens was a euphemism for the devil, but it makes perfect sense now that you bring it up. Makes me wonder how many other head-slap things exist that I just don't realize. Scores of them, I'm sure. Thanks for solving one for me!

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  18. I'd like to read more Dickens. I meant to read A Christmas Story this season and didn't get to it. I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities when I read it years ago.

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