Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Charles Dickens!

To celebrate what would have been Dickens's 200th birthday; here are some little known facts: 
1.  Charles Dickens had only 4 years of formal schooling.  He was largely a self-educated man. 
2.  He had 10 children! 
3.  At the age of about 12, Dickens was sent to work in a "blacking" factory to help support his family after his father was imprisoned for debt. 
4.  All his major works were published as weekly or monthly serials in popular newspapers or magazines. 
5.  His masterpiece "A Christmas Carol" rekindled the joy of Christmas in Britain and America.  Over 100 actors have portrayed Scrooge in film according to IMDB. 
6.  He traveled to America twice, and like many tourists, paid a visit to Niagara Falls.  He spent 10 days there in 1842, stating viewing the falls showed him "how near he felt to his Creator" and brought him visions of "enduring peace". 
7.  He was the first literary "Superstar".  His popular works reached a wider audience than any author before him.  He was the inspiration to many authors to come including famous Russian authors Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. 
8.  He was obsessive compulsive.  He was preoccupied with looking in a mirror and combing his hair.  He did this hundreds of times a day! 
9.  He suffered from epilepsy, and made some of his characters epileptic as well. 
10.  He was a devotee of mesmerism - a system of healing through hypnotism. 
Want to know more about Dickens?  See http://charlesdickenspage.com/fast-facts.html 
In honor of his birthday, I have decided to read "A Tale of Two Cities" again.  What was your favorite Dickens novel?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the info! Dickens is excellent: I especially love "Tale of Two Cities".