Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! (Little Dorrit “Challenge”)

Hello Readers, Today (Feb 7th) is author Charles Dickens birthday.

Trent and I were discussing the book and both want to read it and then compare notes. This unfolded because last year, I watched the 2008 Little Dorrit mini series and then started comment chatting with Trent. The use of “pa-pa” vs “father” – and of course you know I was wondering how much of the mini-series was aligned with the book and wondered what they missed. I also did not care for the actress that played Little Dorrit – she was “okay” but came up b-flat in so many scenes. She was also bit timid and so when I do get to read the book, I want to really compare and contrast the depiction of the 2008 BBC miniseries to what I take away from the actual book (keep you posted).


We thought it would good fun if others joined us while reading Little Dorrit this spring. 

If you want to read Little Dorrit and then share a post about it on or around June 9, which is the date of Dickens’ death – please join us!


To quote Trent (here):

“We don’t have (the Little Dorrit) challenge nailed down yet, but we were thinking of an open discussion. Would you like to join us?  We don’t have a sign up sheet or anything at this time, but we will do some type of blog party or link up on June 9.  That gives you four months to read the book. Are you ready?  I have my copy right here!”

And if you want a free copy of Little Dorrit – the Gutenberg Press has many free options here:


Wait! There’s More

We have decided to do add in a raffle: Everyone who joins in with the Little Dorrit Link Up on June 9th will be entered to win. 

So far, we will be raffling off two books and a $25 Amazon gift card. There will also be miscellaneous surprise items. Maybe a few more goodies will trickle in as others contribute.  I like how Trent worded this: “If reading this great work of fiction and talking about in our blog party it isn’t incentive enough….” the raffle might lure you in.

Need more incentive to join in? If you are a writer, you know that reading other authors can help you grow and give you ideas. Even if you are not a writer, everyone can benefit from human stories – and all the more when we read from such a special author like Charles Dickens. He was an author that honed his craft (meaning he became masterful with his words and story elements – raw talent and gifts combined with labor). His social intelligence, advocator side, and deep understanding of human behavior is what floods the pages when he develops characters and gives the reader much to enjoy and grow with. And the story of Little Dorrir takes us from a debtor’s prison to traveling abroad with an inheritance. The story elements allow us to look back at history while we maybe appreciate more of what we have today.


In 2018, I shared these links with my “Happy Brirthday, Dickens” post: 

1) Go here for an old Priorhouse Post 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”

3) This blog here has a current Great expectations weekly read-a-long

birthday taco with candle

4) A student tribute blog to Dickens is here

5) This blog here has some nice posts on the Victorian Era social problems and the book Bleak House (1853).

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 Dickens at this blog here – with this fact #3 relating to Little Dorrit

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

Today – adding this:

9) Linda (here) shared that her friend and fellow blogger, Joni, has written about Dickens’ a few times and here is one of the posts: https://thehomeplaceweb.com/2019/12/12/the-literary-salon-the-manwho-invented-christmas/

Have you already read Little Dorrit? Care to join us?

UPDATE 2/8/2021

Thanks to Derrck Knight for his generous sharing of images about Little Dorrit

He said he is going to put them together for us and I am very grateful

Here is one of the images from Derrick that connects to “why” I am eager to read the book

I want to know more about the layers of the Little Dorrit character and then will compare it with what I took away from the 2008 BBC depiction. Not putting down Foy (actress that played Dorrit) or the writers/director – just want to see how it lined up with the book (and of course my subjective take)









35 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! (Little Dorrit “Challenge”)

    1. hi Alison- no worries at all on the contradiction – and on one hand i enjoyed the BBC series – it was not until the end when i started to realize i had a slight issue with Foy’s depiction of Dorrit. But it might have been the way the writer of the screenplay and the director also had a hand in her role. The series was a good watch but the reason i am wanting to now really pour into the book is to see if Dickens version (my interpretation of what Dickens wrote) aligns with what i felt was depicted. i will share more later but i do feel the Dorrit depicted was a bit flat – and just do not see that as what the masterful Dickens would have for a lead character in such a long book. and then derrick Knight is posting Keepings’ drawings about Little Dorrit and the one drawing had Dorrit with spunk and attitude – did not get that from the docile and unrattled timidity depicted in the 2008 BBC version

      thanks for the note


      1. As I haven’t read the book you probably know much more of how Dorrit should have been played. I find that with many books that have been made into films or shows..the book is often better and often the actors are the wrong people to play that character

        Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Joni! sorry to not leave a comment on your blog yet. linda has sent me there a few times and i like your love for literature and of course A Christmas Carol. i will be over again soon and thanks for the note here


  1. It’s so disappointing but often the case when the movie doesn’t match up to the book!
    What a great idea to celebrate such a master craft writer!
    My heart says yes, I’d love to read Dorrit but my schedule says “darn, not at this time”.
    If i do see my way clear, I wil.
    Great incentives, what writer could resist! ❤️


  2. If that was the BBC version, the actress was Claire Foy in her first starring role. I really enjoyed it, and she is now a national treasure here after being the Queen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi!
      thanks for the note and it was Claire Foy – and
      clive, that is really why i want to read the book. i want to see if the character Foy portrayed (the directors and screenplay writer also had a hand in what was depicted) I want to see if it aligned with what is in the book!
      Foy was a fine actress (and now i really want to see her in that role as queen) but throughout the Little Dorrit episodes – she did not transform – her voice was always this very faint and whisper-like and she never got rattled. never stirred up – really roused or even moved! it was steady eddy and stable mable as good little girl with strong work ethic and father this and papa that.
      the acting was “fine” (nothing like some of the actresses i watched last year who i would put into a category of “good on screen and able to play a serious role but had no training – like Keri Russel who had her hair pulled to the side in almost every episode and was believable as a spy – but had the same expression throughout the Americans – it worked for the show but her acting?? nothing like the gift and talent many other have – and after that i saw so
      many actresses that had what i felt she lacked – it is something with the use of the eyes and ability to use the voice with inflection – something stage actors or a different talent delivers) and clive – i think i need to write a post about it

      Anyhow, to finish this thought on claire Foy as Dorrit – – when i saw Derrick Knight’s Keepings’ images from his copy of Dorrit – that also made me wonder how the Dickens version of out Little Dorrit really is – In the draining of little Dorrit – i sensed artitude and fervor
      i sensed social wisdom and maybe a little spunk (like Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice )
      and so I shall keep you posted
      – again, she was a fine actress on one hand – but feel that surly the great British writer Dickens would not have his lead character to passive and docile – even if servant minded and not about materials. surely this character would have layers and more umph.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never read the book either – probably a reaction to my uni days when I had to read loads of Victorian novels, which were all so long and verbose. If it wasn’t a set book, I didn’t read it! I’ll be interested to see what you think after you’ve read it. It may well be that the director’s interpretation overplayed the quiet, shrew-like side of her character, but in those days women were very much second class citizens so it may have been accurate. I’ll look forward to your post on it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. well
          you ha e time to consider joining us and there might be audible versions of this book so just think about it
          either way –
          i am looking forward to reading it

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have “dabbled” quite a bit in “english lit.” 60% of the books in my library are in English, but I’ve never been able to get into Dickemns. I’ve had Little Dorrit on my shelves for 50 years maybe? Zero appeal. I must try again…
    All well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi – all is well
      and i hear ya on finding the motivation for some genres
      and that sure is a long time to have that book on the shelf – and you are officially invited to join us and maybe dust it off and at least skim it? hahah
      and ttys

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have read books after 20 years… Dorritt? Didn’t dust it, I tend to dust the library form time to time. I did flap it open and closed for the dust that settles on the top… And I moved it to the to-read- shelf… Will let you know.


        1. Oh that was fun to read – and I could imagine the dust in the air

          and even if you skim it well you could get a feel for it in a way the movies cannot offer – and I will check back in with you later – woo hoo – glad it might be read if it made it the “to-read shelf”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Though all the books have been thoroughly dusted and “banged” (one against the other) 3 years ago when we moved house, I still “bang” one when I pull it off the shelf. Dust magnets. But it’s all right… We lov’em 📖


  4. Thanks for the mention of me and also re: Joni’s blog post as well Yvette. I’ve got to read some of the classics when I retire and have more time. I had literature classes in college but there are many classics which I never read … I’d better get cracking, though I did see the movie years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i am so glad you left me the links in a comment section i was able to find them again
      and Joni has some fun stuff to explore on her blog
      and Linda – maybe you can listen to the audio book on some of your walks?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Joni really likes Dickens and there is lots for her to explore. I actually don’t have any way to listen to an audio book right now – I know, I’m a dinosaur!!


    1. hi robbie – those two are in my top books too
      and not sure if you have time – but we’d love to have you join us for the Dickens Challenge in June (no pressure)


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