HOT TOPIC: Charles Dickens
Volume 2, Issue 13 - December 4, 2005

"One warm childhood memory is that of my mother, walking my brother, sister and I down to Assabet Park in Northborough with a copy of A Christmas Carol in her purse. We were ages 8, 6 and 4 respectively and when we got to the park, we would straddle ourselves across a bench and listen as she would read to us the chapters of this timeless work. No, we could not appreciate the Victorian vocabulary or all of the sophisticated themes Dickens intertwined in this classic, but the lively, heartfelt characterizations of the characters and the lessons of love and caring for all mankind were clearly conveyed in my mother’s reading to us.

Many of Dickens’ works have touched my life over the years, from Bleak House and Oliver Twist to A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. In high school I even worked with a senior team to write a plausible ending to the Mystery of Edwin Drood, left incomplete at the time of Dickens’ death. We produced the effort as the school musical mystery the Spring of that year!

Legendary are the tales of Dickens tour of America in 1842, during which throngs would gather to hear him read his works in an animated performance of numerous voices and contortions as the gifted writer became the tales he told. Equally important was the precedent of releasing of Dickens’ new works in serial form, so that they were available to the masses. These serializations created literary events on a regular basis! As an example check out the serialized Hard Times online at To view his complete works online go to I hope you will enjoy this issue on Dickens as I did in putting it together!"


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©2005 Walter McKenzie

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