Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Celebrating Charles Dickens

Major Works of Charles Dickens (Boxed Set)Here is one of the two delightful Charles Dickens collections currently available from Penguin. My bookshelves are extremely jealous! They have been produced as part of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.  I personally think they are delicious!
My own celebrations

I have today, been composing my own little celebration in memory of Dickens.  With a few weeks to fill with my year 7 class, I felt it would be a great opportunity to share with them some classic literature as well as having some fun.  I remember learning about how Dickens novels were published whilst studying for my Literature degree.  This small piece of information had a dramatic effect on my feelings for the author.  I suddenly understood and appreciated his visual feast of caricatures and I saw his work afresh.  Great Expectations went on to become one of my all time favourite books.

So yes, this is exactly what my little year 7 class will be learning about!  They will be introduced to a few of the characters, become detectives to discover what makes a Dickensian character and then finally create their own modern version.

As well as learning a little history along the way, I hope they will also grasp the relevance to today's society.  Fingers crossed for some gruesome, dodgy bankers!

I have been promising myself for sometime that I would read Dickens' collection of works.  No mean feat. With teaching and being a mother taking up all the waking hours and minutes, zilch progress has been made.  However, I feel the time is now ripe!  I know I certainly won't be alone.  For my time schedule, tackling a huge pile of them this year would be disastrous so I'm hoping to read three or so and I have Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist in front of me now.  Which to choose?!

How do you feel about Charles Dickens as an author? Have you read many of his books? Have you joined the celebrations in anyway?  Please feel free to add your comments.


  1. Hi Tara,

    Great Blog :-).

    I'm not such a fan of Dickens; I read Great Expectations but it didn't do a lot for me. I should try some more I know but I just can't face it at the moment ;-). To be fair though, I recognise the contribution he made to the novel genre, even if I don't fully appreciate it!

  2. Thanks :-) He certainly isn't everybody's cup of tea and there are so many books out there to be read, it's best not to try and "face it" and just ensure you enjoy reading. Although I think I might have to blog about some of the wonderful character descriptions!