It seems that San Diego is paying tribute to Dickens on his birthday–it is as gray and rainy today as the scenes he described in Bleak House. I can almost see Lady Dedlock, staring out my window at the passing traffic on this rainy evening, muttering “I’m so bored.”

To celebrate Dickens’ 200th, I completed this little meme on my experience with Dickens. Thanks to Yet Another Period Drama Blog for posting it and Jillian at A Room of One’s Own for directing me to it!

How were you first introduced to Charles Dickens?

I was first introduced to Dickens via Mickey’s Christmas Carol. It was my favorite holiday movie every year!

Which Charles Dickens novels and stories have you read? Which are your favorites?

Unfortunately, I’ve only read

– A Christmas Carol

Great Expectations

and last month

Bleak House

But, I own David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, and A Tale of Two Cities, so hopefully I’ll rectify the problem!

Which Charles Dickens novel(s) do you most want to read?

I really want to read David Copperfield, as it is considered to be his greatest masterpiece. I also want to read Nicholas Nickleby as I think it is rather comedic.

What are your favorite Charles Dickens quotes (up to three)?

My favorite quote from Bleak House was from John Jarndyce to Richard:

If you had the abilities of all the great men, past and present, you could do nothing well, without sincerely meaning it, and setting about it. If you entertain the supposition that any real success, in great things or small, ever was or could be, ever will or can be, wrested from Fortune by fits and starts, leave that wrong idea here… (218)

That is some of the best advice I’ve read since Polonius’s farewell tips to Laertes in Hamlet! If some people I knew in real life would take this advice, they would save themselves a whole lot of heartache!

Who are your Top 3 favorite Dickens heroines? and why?

Dickens isn’t known for writing great heroines, so I don’t have any yet, and I doubt that I will.

Who are your Top 3 favorite Dickens heroes? and why?

From Bleak House: John Jarndyce is an amazing man. I also really liked Mr. Boythorn and Mr. Bucket, though neither could be considered heroes really.

Which three Dickens villains do you most love to hate?

Ebenezer Scrooge, Estella, and Mr. Tulkinghorn

Which Dickens characters (up to three) do you find the most funny?

Absolute favorite is Mr. Guppy. I “hoorayed” whenever he appeared on the page.

If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of Dickens’s novels, which would it be and why?

Great Expectations, although I haven’t seen all of the current adaptations.

If you could have lunch with Charles Dickens today, what question would you most like to ask him?

Would you read aloud for me? Some good, comical scene please. Maybe one with Mr. Guppy or Mr. Boythorn.

Have you ever read a Dickens biography or watched a biographical film about him?

I read Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin in January.

How many Dickens adaptations have you seen?

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1982)

Oliver! (1968, starring Ann Margret and my boyfriend Jack Wild, of Pufnstuf)

Scrooged (1988, starring Bill Murray in the Scroogish role)

A Christmas Carol (1984, starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge)

– The Muppet Christmas Carol  (1992, starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge)

Great Expectations (1998, starring Ethan Hawke as Pip, Robert DeNiro as Magwitch, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Estella)

Nicholas Nickleby (2002, with Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Nathan Lane, and Anne Hathaway)

Bleak House (am currently watching)

Which Dickens adaptation is your favorite?

So far, it’s Bleak House. It’s perfect!

Have you seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol? Which version is your favorite?

Yes. Probably the George C. Scott version.

Who is your favorite Dickens villain and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of them?

Mr. Tulkinghorn, played by Charles Dance and Bill Sykes, who was frighteningly played by Oliver Reed

Have you seen any musical adaptations of any of Dickens’ stories? If so, which is your favorite song from it?

Umm yeah! Consider Yourself, sung by the Artful Dodger, as played by my childhood musical boyfriend Jack Wild (he had the best name!)


Happy birthday, Mr. Dickens!

Thank you for all of your wonderful stories, characters, and the important changes you instigated in our world!