Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

“He didn’t fit in.”

Even though he was wealthy and influential, Charles Dickens didn’t fit into middle-class life in Victorian England for many reasons. Here are three: He made fun of “society” people in his novels. Instead of writing anonymously, as the other novelists … Continue reading

Posted in non-fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The pupils formed in line and buzzingly passed a ragged book from hand to hand.”

What?  Only one book for all the students to pass around?  In England? In many of his novels, Charles Dickens describes how difficult it was for ordinary families to get any sort of education. In Great Expectations, Pip’s family had … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Hopper painting hung on the wall with an indifference so vast it began to feel personal, as though it had been painted for this moment”

The passage continues: “Your troubles are huge and meaningless, it seemed to say, there is only the sun on the side of the house.”  The troubles of the people in this illuminating book are vast indeed: no novelist, including Charles … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“It was as if nothing I’d ever done in my life prior to this counted.”

The wonderful thing about 600-page sagas is, in my view, the opportunity to develop a wide perspective. Readers get to see the consequences of decisions as they play out over the span of decades. Sometimes characters come to see things … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment