Dickens at 200

Today is the birthday of one of the most famous writers of all time, Charles Dickens. Generations of schoolchildren, force-fed books like David Copperfield or Great Expectations by dry, unimaginative teachers, have grown up disliking his work, but his stories are rich in character and both fascinating and terrible in their accurate depiction of hard lives, exploitation of children, complex and often unhappy loves, and – my extension – a certain callousness of the universe about those facts. His best-known work, A Christmas Carol, has become so embedded in our culture that people who’ve never read it can recite the story line.

Of course, news coverage is pretty broad. NPR ran two pieces, one on Sunday and this morning.

Later,

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