What the Dickens?

November 1st, 2012 · 1 Comment »

As this year marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, I am reading a biography of his life by the actor, Simon Callow. It is proving to be most enjoyable.

I do enjoy my Dickens novels. I read Oliver Twist at a young age and have slowly been going through his long list of titles ever since. I am a particular fan of Great Expectations and David Copperfield, though his masterpiece will always be The Muppet Christmas Carol. Miss Piggy was brilliant in that.

As a child, I had a burning desire to be a young character in a Charles Dickens novel – I wanted to be poor and struggling but with great expectations for my future. The desire was so great that I convinced myself my family were dirt poor and I would, at times, put my pocket money back into my mother’s purse.

I had rocks and sticks to play with. What need had I of toys?

I’m pretty sure one of my brother’s (I shall not name names) was taking money from this same purse, so really, I was funding and covering all trace of his deceit.

“One day M’ma,” I would say. “I’ll be a famous author and I’ll buy you a thousand houses.”

“What are we going to do with a thousand houses you weird little boy?”

“No, please, don’t be proud, M’ma. It is a gift of thanks for while we have so little, you have provided me with all that I need … perhaps we should sell my bed. A patch of ground is all I require. I can use leaves as a blanket …”

Then I would go and play on our new computer, or watch TV at one of the many TVs in the house.

If I’d known then how much new writers earn, I wouldn’t have been so keen to be poor. I would have patiently waited. Now who said dreams don’t come true?

Happy belated birthday Charles. I hope you had a good one.

Categories: Real Stories

One Response to “What the Dickens?”

  • Antoinette

    Hi Nathan,
    Keep up the dreaming – that’s what great writers are made of. Also, you can change/re-direct your dreams – perhaps, dreaming of how successful you are becoming and the opportunities that await you will ensure that earlier dreams, of being a poor character in a Dickensian novel, will result in you being rewarded like Pip in ‘Great Expectations’.

    Have a Dickens-of-a-time! We all look forward to the launch of your new book.

    Antoinette H.

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