Crime, Greed, High Drama? Must Be Dickens…
Today is Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday. Just saying it makes me feel a little guilty because of how little of Dickens’ work I’ve actually read. I’ve read plenty of worthy, classic fiction over the years, but in looking at his work, I’m beginning to think I never gave this formidable author a fair shake.
Dickens’ plots read like modern day soap operas, featuring orphans under the influence of evil ne’er-do-wells, escaped convicts, troublesome lawyers, sympathetic loners and beautiful, young girls with hearts of gold. New characters drift in and out and you never quite know who’s a menace or who’s a good guy. And the action all plays out against backdrops ranging in the extreme from gothic, romantic mansions to lowly, dark alleyways.
Then there are the stories behind the stories. Did you know, for example, Dickens’ books have never gone out of print? And did you also know that many of his works were originally published as weekly or monthly serials? I love thinking about eager readers awaiting the latest issue of a magazine to hit the streets so they could get their dose of high drama!
Maplewood Library has a large collection of the works of Charles Dickens in a variety of forms and accessible to people of all ages. Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Dickens!