Charles Dickens Birthday (February 7th)

I was over at Robin’s blog (here) and she shared a nice post about how she had Great Expectations because Sydney has won the bid to host the Dickens Fellowship Conference.

Earlier today I was working with a couple dozen college students and we were talking about cultural diversity. I like to sometimes connect Thug Notes into lessons and one of the videos we watched was Thug Notes’ version of A Christmas Carol (shared below – with a warning for strong language). I almost skipped this one because it is not the holidays anymore, but I like his fun take on this Dickens’ classic. And today, I was quieted near the end of the video as I was reminded (yet again) about Dickens’ wonderful talent for writing, his love for people, and his inner drive to fight for the “po” and help the down and out.

I forgot it was his b-day tomorrow (2/7) and so the timing made me smile – nice lead in to his b-day today –  And so I thought, why not throw up a quick birthday post for this amazing author….

Also, some say that it is a birthday week and so maybe it is time for you to give a shout out to Dickens… or maybe not….  🙂 


Here is the Thug Notes Video (again, warning on language and it is all in good fun…k?):



Want more Charles Dickens in your life right now?

1) Go here for an old post of mine with a snippet from A Christmas Carol

2) Delancey Place (here) has featured Dickens many times, and this one here featured Lepore’s (2012) take on a “Young Charles Dickens”

Delancey Place noted, “…by the age of 24, the Londoner Charles Dickens had already attained fame and financial independence through his writing. By the age of 29, he had written seven acclaimed books in six years, and was at a point where he could fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting America…” and from Lepore (2012): “Almost all his novels were published in either weekly or monthly installments, Dickens writing not more than a chapter or two ahead of his illustrator and not much further ahead of his readers. He only ever missed a deadline once, after someone he loved died. He never used an amanuensis or a secretary. For thirteen months in 1837 and 1838, he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby at the same time, abandon­ing Fagin in Newgate to pursue Mr. Squeers only to leave Bill Sykes hanging while failing to rescue sorry little Smike.”

3) This blog here has a current Great expectations weekly read-a-long and Pauls Toutonghi (here) wrote a nice piece for Dickens 200th b-day.

birthday taco with candle

4) A student tribute blog to Dickens is here, where the authors write: “With his own real-life examples in mind, it comes as no surprise that Dickens’s novels reflected his distaste for the family style that so many Victorians were striving for.”  Hunter Gaitan noted that, “Charles Dickens raises the age-old question: is ignorance bliss?” and “This same dilemma of “how much do I really want to know?” still challenges people today.  Ryan Peterson added, “Dickens tends to write his novel in the hopes that change will come of it, whether it’s the treatment of the poor in Oliver Twist or the working conditions in Hard Times, Dickens writes to restore social order.”

5) This blog here has some nice posts on the Victorian Era and the book Bleak House (1853): “Charles Dickens’ Bleak House is social problem novel, regarding the terrible conditions for those living in Victorian England and a scathing critique of those among society who remained indifferent on the subject, particularly those whom Dickens’ felt concerned themselves with “telescopic philanthropy,” that is, charity with a narrowed focus on issues external to Britain, rather than issues closer to home.

6) Podcast here from the online reading group Defining Digital Dickens. I think this could have used some editing, but I guess this is how podcasts are – raw and unedited? But it is just fun to know that there was a study group of bloggers and critics exploring Dickens’s last completed novel, ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

7) 12 facts about Mr. Dickens at this blog here.

8)On Dickens’ b-day in 2013, this blog here shared about the doggy gift for Dickens:






11 thoughts on “Charles Dickens Birthday (February 7th)

    1. thanks Robbie – that was new to me too – and it was so fun how today primed me for it – seriously – as I watched the video I was also reminded how authors need to “do what they do” and be who they are when they write so that their essence leaves a stamp on the world. They cannot do this if they try to be something they are not – ya know

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    1. Yes – I agree he would be an interesting dinner guest – or maybe not – because sometimes writers are extra introverted and need to eat and think alone – so maybe I’d meet him for a high tea – and have some questions lined up – ha

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  1. I did not follow into Charles’ life that he lived 201 years ago. I read only Oliver Twist but that was a very long long time ago. Thank you for the great information about him.

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