Dickens has a lot in common with those who came before… that is, those in this year’s line-up of authors who use Humour, Irony and Satire in Literature to expose foolishness and corruption — with a view to pushing reform.
He knew what he wrote about: At twelve, he worked ten hours a day in a rotten, rat-infested “blacking” warehouse, putting labels on shoe polish. His family was thrown into debtor’s prison at this time. When he started writing in serial form, he allowed lower classes to read his work, though this was criticised as “pandering.”
Margaret quizzed us on actual-versus-fictional place names used in Dickens’ works. Hilarious! And then there are the ridiculous proper names and their unforgettable characters.
Along with a fascinating overview of his life and times, Margaret gave us some tips:
- A Tale of Two Cities best describes the times Dickens lived in.
- David Copperfield is the most autobiographical novel.
- The Pickwick Papers, his first book, was written in a popular style in the 19th Century called “picaresque.”
- Read What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew (Daniel Pool) to understand Victorians.
- CLICK HERE TO WATCH CBC GEM’S LITTLE DORRIT ONLINE
And last, but certainly not least: