Let me make a bold statement…Charles Dickens is the greatest author this country has ever produced!
Only my opinion of course, but I am certainly not alone in considering Mr Dickens the greatest. Tuesday 7th February marks the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth, and events up and down the country plan to mark the bicentenary in the manner it deserves.
Apart from Shakespeare, no other writer, living or dead, has produced as many works considered classics today. And talking of Shakespeare, he is of course our most important writer, but his works are simply not as accessible as Dickens’s are to the mainstream.
The continuing popularity of the author, is validated by the fact that his stories have never gone out of print. His works have transferred to film countless times, and television shows continue to be made that introduce his works to each new generation.
But why, what makes Charles Dickens so different from any other author?
Dickens’s weird and wonderful world of characters includes some of the most famous ever to appear in print. Just imagine the world of literature without David Copperfield, The Artful Dodger, Mr. Micawber, Little Dorritt, Uriah Heep and of course Ebenezer Scrooge, to name but a few. For me, the fact his words still resonate is largely because of this rich wealth of characters that everyone can still invest in.
Many of his most famous works deal with class, something that still strikes a chord in today’s society. Social matters are currently high in the public conscious, and unfortunately many of the class divisions that so troubled Dickens still continue to impact on all of our lives. Was he alive today, no doubt the whole ‘rich bankers’ dispute would be perfect fodder for a novel.
Dickens was a writer who knew the power of the humble word, and the power that fiction has to express human emotion. His language is incredibly descriptive, richly painting a canvas on which the reader feels they can tread. His works are old-fashioned, and somewhat sentimental at times, but you simply cannot judge by today’s standards. If we were able to travel back to the Victorian era, we would find a world with very different values. Dickens was writing for the present, and he clearly succeeded by enjoying a wider popularity and fame than any previous author during his lifetime.
It is a very British thing to turn to humour to times of hardship, and Dickens used this to good effect time and time again, and not always in good taste. His best comedy comes from observation, seeing the humour in the universal truths that bind us together, in much the same way that stand up comics do today. Dickens’s live readings were also said to be filled with humour and performance, and reading the work aloud really does reveal the energy and drama of the language.
Celebrate the nations favourite storyteller with the Vintage Dickens Collection, containg 16 books in paperback for only £26 at The Book People. Plus take advantage of 10% Off Orders Over £20 until 14th February 2012 exclusively a MyVoucherCodes.