Charles Dickens’ books have been “occupying" libraries across the nation long before the term became fashionable. Yet many of his themes remain as relevant today as they were in the 1800s.
Dickens often wrote about a disdain for the rich. People knew characters such as Ebeneezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Pip and Miss Havisham, and Fagin and Oliver Twist whether they had read Dickens’ books or not.
“Everything he wrote about in the 1840s is still relevant," Dickens' biographer, Claire Tomalin said, according to the Associated Press. "The great gulf between the rich and poor, corrupt financiers... You name it, he said it."
Reuters reported that Dickens’ first novel was "The Pickwick Papers," followed by "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby." He also wrote "Bleak House," "Hard Times," "Little Dorrit," "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations." Dickens died from a stroke in 1870 at age 58.
The Christian Science Monitor has listed some Dickens quotes that give a good indication of his outlook on life:
"An idea, like a ghost ... must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself."
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
"Never close your lips to those to whom you have opened your heart."
"Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!"
Mail Online reports that Prince Charles called Dickens ‘one of the greatest writers of the English language’ at a service at Westminster Abbey. The prince laid a wreath of white roses and snowdrops on Dickens’ grave. About 200 descendants of Dickens attended the ceremony.
Closer to home, according to the New Jersey Herald, the Philadelphia public library possesses a valuable Dickens collection, which contains a carefully preserved and stuffed raven named Grip that inspired the Edgar Allan Poe poem. Clark Park in west Philadelphia has a statue of Dickens.
A Dickens line from "Great Expectations" might have summed up his life fairly: "I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me."