From Ralph Hipp
English lit majors know it, his faithful fans know it.. and hopefully millions more of us know it.
Today, February 7th, is the 200th anniversary of the birth of literary genius Charles Dickens. Far from being a forgotten writer who was only notable in his day, Charles Dickens has those millions of adoring fans even today. I am one of them. The guys books are just amazing, and read so well today. And millions of Oprah Winfrey's fans can't be wrong. They grabbed every copy of "Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations" in the double edition that was her Oprah Book Club selection in the last few months of her show. Great Expectations, what a fabulous tale of the lives of Pip and Estella, and I still have it my Kindle. Sales of the novel have skyrocketed with the lavish production done recently on the BBC. And I couldn't stop watching their production of "Little Dorrit," which I checked out on DVD from the library.
Every holiday, of course, we experience Scrooge and Tiny Tim on stage in "Christmas Carol," which has been made into several notable films. The list goes on from there with his stories on the famous boys "David Copperfield" and "Oliver Twist" -- and on to some of the really dark ones like "Bleak House' and "Hard Times."
His prolific writing made him a rock star during his two visits to the United States. Can you imagine being there to see him?
Today, at the Dickens Museum in London, they are marking his 200 years with free birthday cupcakes for the first 200 guests who arrive from noon to 5pm today. Don't think I will make it over for that.. and will also be missing the British Library's Dickens exhibit or the British Film Institute running film adaptations of his amazing stories.
I'm promising to read a lot more Charles Dickens this bicentennial year. Tell me if you're a C.D. fan too, and your favorite novels. If you haven't started on one, please read along and join us! rh