Browsing All posts tagged under »Charles Dickens«

Legends of Myself 60

January 30, 2013


Continued from Legends of Myself 59 60.  Prince Rupert, 1959:  Rest Is a Weapon My stay in Prince Rupert in the summer of 1959 was mostly free of incident, more an establishing shot of a story to be continued later than a story in itself. In relation to my previous stays in town, I was exploring […]

Legends of Myself 51

December 27, 2012


Continued from Legends of Myself 50 51. Port Essington, 1958-59:  One Room Schoolhouse It’s one of those bureaucratic paradoxes that sometimes the most challenging jobs are given to the least experienced, mostly because the most experienced wouldn’t put up with them—or already have a job.  The schoolhouse in Essington had one room, one teacher, 10 students, […]

Winkle on the Ice by Charles Dickens

December 18, 2012


I read Oliver Twist in 1962, half a century ago, but my first introduction to Dickens was in my grade three classroom in Port Essington, 1958-59.  The following passage, taken from The Pickwick Papers, was that introduction, which was reprinted in my grade three reader.  Some of the language seems a little advanced for 8-year-olds.  […]

A Prison of the Mind by Charles Dickens

April 19, 2012


In his childhood, Charles Dickens’ father was imprisoned for debt, throwing his family and young Charles into circumstances which forever haunted the writer.  In his fiction, Dickens returned to prison many times, often exploring the theme of the terrible power of prisons over the soul.  As the following passage makes clear, Dickens understood as well […]

The Circumlocution Office by Charles Dickens

March 5, 2012


The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to […]

Legends of Myself 39

February 26, 2012


Continued from Legends of Myself 37 39.  Prince Rupert, 1958:  Long Tea or Short “Long tea or short tea?” my grandfather asked. And why have short tea when you can have long? “Long tea,” I replied. Then Pop lifted the teapot a few extra inches and poured a long thin stream into my cup. “Tea, granny,” […]

Sam Weller and the Pieman

December 24, 2011


‘You see that green hill there?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘That’s the place where we are to lunch; and, by Jove, there’s the boy with the basket, punctual as clockwork!’ ‘So he is,’ said Mr. Pickwick, brightening up. ‘Good boy, that. I’ll give him a shilling, presently. Now, then, Sam, wheel away.’ ‘Hold on, sir,’ said Mr. Weller, […]

Unfurnished Lodgings & Twopenny Ropes

December 23, 2011


Sleeping out and down and out in Dickens’ day, as told by Sam Weller. ‘You are quite a philosopher, Sam,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘It runs in the family, I b’lieve, sir,’ replied Mr. Weller. ‘My father’s wery much in that line now. If my mother-in-law blows him up, he whistles. She flies in a passion, […]