Charles Dickens at 200

Yesterday, February 7, was the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.  (As well as being the birthday of our oldest daughter.)  His novels are still gloriously readable after all these years, combining seriousness and humor in a way that has not been equaled since.  Here is a worthy tribute, which compares the novelist to Augustine:  Happy Birthday to our Mutual Friend » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

What are your favorite bits from Dickens?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The first serious English literature I read, as an English Second Language student, was Great Expectations (unabridged), when I was 14. Therefore the adventures of Pip have stayed with me since.

    I have read many of his other works since then – and have particularly enjoyed David Copperfield, and Nicholas Nickleby. It has been some time though, since I have slightly moved away from his rambling style, and his over-characterization. But he certainly number among the greats!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The first serious English literature I read, as an English Second Language student, was Great Expectations (unabridged), when I was 14. Therefore the adventures of Pip have stayed with me since.

    I have read many of his other works since then – and have particularly enjoyed David Copperfield, and Nicholas Nickleby. It has been some time though, since I have slightly moved away from his rambling style, and his over-characterization. But he certainly number among the greats!

  • Kimberly

    Though it took me quite a while to wade through, Bleak House is my favorite Dickens novel. His ability to change his writing style to capture different aspects of the story constantly amazed me. A wonderful book well worth the time investment!

  • Kimberly

    Though it took me quite a while to wade through, Bleak House is my favorite Dickens novel. His ability to change his writing style to capture different aspects of the story constantly amazed me. A wonderful book well worth the time investment!

  • kenneth

    A true humanist in the best sense of that word. He also heralded Christianity if I am not mistaken. David Copperfield stands out as my favorite book. Happy grandaughter day Mr Copperfield and you too Dr Vieth.

  • kenneth

    A true humanist in the best sense of that word. He also heralded Christianity if I am not mistaken. David Copperfield stands out as my favorite book. Happy grandaughter day Mr Copperfield and you too Dr Vieth.

  • Med Student

    My favorite Dickens novel is Bleak House, although I’ll admit I haven’t read that many of his books. A Tale of Two Cities is on my Kindle, and someday I will get to it.

  • Med Student

    My favorite Dickens novel is Bleak House, although I’ll admit I haven’t read that many of his books. A Tale of Two Cities is on my Kindle, and someday I will get to it.

  • cattail

    I’ve probably read “David Copperfield” the most, because my parents owned it and I now have their copy (somewhat the worst for age and wear). What I love most are the wonderful characters: Peggotty, Aunt Betsy Trotwood, Barkis (“is willin”), Mr. Micawber. What depth and richness and humor!

    Yes, Dickens was paid by the word, which means that by modern standards his works are long and wordy. As I get older, I enjoy this aspect of Dickens more and more!

  • cattail

    I’ve probably read “David Copperfield” the most, because my parents owned it and I now have their copy (somewhat the worst for age and wear). What I love most are the wonderful characters: Peggotty, Aunt Betsy Trotwood, Barkis (“is willin”), Mr. Micawber. What depth and richness and humor!

    Yes, Dickens was paid by the word, which means that by modern standards his works are long and wordy. As I get older, I enjoy this aspect of Dickens more and more!

  • Booklover

    OK, I’ll be the only hick in the deck. Back when I was homeschooling, we listened to Great Expectations on tape. Or at least we listened until we were bored to tears. So maybe I am missing some brain cells. I think I read Tale of Two Cities years ago and that went better.

    I was later told that Dickens’ best books are his least familiar ones, so maybe I should try one of those.

  • Booklover

    OK, I’ll be the only hick in the deck. Back when I was homeschooling, we listened to Great Expectations on tape. Or at least we listened until we were bored to tears. So maybe I am missing some brain cells. I think I read Tale of Two Cities years ago and that went better.

    I was later told that Dickens’ best books are his least familiar ones, so maybe I should try one of those.

  • Dan Kempin

    A tale of two cities is well worth the time investment to read it. You should read it. Don’t read it as a “great” book or expecting to be wowed by the author’s skill. Just read it.

  • Dan Kempin

    A tale of two cities is well worth the time investment to read it. You should read it. Don’t read it as a “great” book or expecting to be wowed by the author’s skill. Just read it.


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