How to enjoy reading Charles Dickens

Standard
/www.flickr.com/photos/fdctsevilla/3983519280

/www.flickr.com/photos/fdctsevilla/3983519280

First of all, why bother to read Dickens at all?

Because he was one of the greatest novelists who ever lived. His novels feature really ingenious plotting; a vast range of exceptionally colourful and memorable characters of all kinds – many of them eccentric and humorous (although there are some great villains too); interesting insights into life and human nature; many funny episodes; a breath-taking prose style; memorable expressions and witty comments.

Traditionally, Dickens is not seen as an easy read, and in some ways he isn’t. Unfortunately, though, many people have been introduced to Dickens at school when they were too young to understand his prose style and this has had the effect of turning them off Dickens for life. Because children are quite familiar with simplified versions of stories such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations, there is a mistaken perception that these books were written for children, but they remain very much adult novels. The original full-length versions are far too dificult for children yet, if you return to Dickens’s books as an adult, you’ll find them much more readable than they were when you were fourteen!

Nevertheless, it’s worth bearing in mind that in the twenty-first century we’re saturated with instant messages and easy readability, but Dickens does have to be worked at a bit – not something we’re used to. But if you’ve never managed to enjoy Dickens before but you’re prepared to make the effort now, he more than repays the toil you put in .

Seven Steps to Getting the Best from Dickens

Continue reading

London on the Cheap

Standard

Wallace collectionThere are many hidden corners of London and the longer I live near this great city the more I find to inform and entertain me. What’s more, many of the treasures which London has to offer are free if you know where to look.

One treasure of a place which I discovered recently is the Wallace collection museum, tucked away just behind busy Bond Street. This house once belonged to the Marquesses of Hertford who, over several generations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries made it their life’s work to collect beautiful and interesting works of art, porcelain, weapons, armour and furniture amongst other things.

Continue reading