|Charles Dickens 1868|
In pride of place on my bookshelf is a book I won as a form prize way back in 1949.
|The Pickwick Papers|
It so happens that I discovered Mr Pickwick and Sam Weller in an illustration which I though you might enjoy.
|Wood engraving: 19th century.|
Characters from the books of Charles Dickens
(Photograph 1950 -1970 - unknown author)
The description with the photograph says, "The man seated in the chair is Mr. Pickwick, a character from Charles Dickens’ first novel The Pickwick Papers, listening to his astute and humorous valet, Sam Weller, as he points out other characters from Dickens’ books. For example, midway up the left edge, from A Christmas Carol, are Ebenezer Scrooge in a night cap, and Bob Cratchit carrying his crippled son, Tiny Tim. In the bottom left corner, from The Old Curiosity Shop, are Little Nell and her grandfather. Fagin, from Oliver Twist, is third from the left in the front row with Mr. Bumble (in the bicorn or cocked hat), his wife Widow Corney, Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger, and Charley Bates nearby."
I must say you need very good eyesight to make them out. There is no doubt however about who is in the next photo.
Artist Fred Barnard (1846-1896)
Title "Mr. Pickwick Picnics"
- Source: "The Anniversary Edition of the Works of Charles Dickens, February 7, 1812". The books were published in 1911 by P.F. Collier & Son of New York. This illustration is from the book, "Pickwick Papers Part I"
- Flickr: Mr Pickwick uploaded by Sue Clark
- License: CC BY 2.0
Today, thanks to Stockton Central Library's Facebook post I learned something new about Dickens. Apparently Dickens' study had a secret door designed to look like a bookcase which was full of fake books with titles such as Noah's Arkitecture, a nine-volume set titled Cat's Lives and The Virtues of Our Ancestors, which was so narrow that the title had to be printed vertically. Are there fake books on your shelves?
And a final picture of the great man who ranks close behind Shakespeare in literary merit.
As some of you may know I have been a volunteer text corrector for the Dickens Journals Online Project. They are celebrating his birthday by announcing the completion of all the correction process. You may find out about the project at http://www.djo.org.uk/
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