I had started, early this summer, to read several classic books that I had, like all of us, heard about but hadn’t actually held in my hands and read.? To that end, I had ordered from the Cincinnati library’s website both Nicholas Nickleby and Great Expectations to be sent to the Walnut Hills branch for me to pick up.
Other books intervened, I’ve renewed these to the max, and now they are due back.? So…. I just read the summaries of them on wikipedia.? Both are huge books with untold quantities of characters from London in the early 19th century.? Having read just a few pages of each (and never, for instance, having read A Christmas Carol), my feeling is that Dickens was the first soap opera writer.
Good and real soap operas, with plenty of moral statements and advice, they seem to be.? Reading the cast of characters of both books on wiki, I found models for lots of other characters.? Draco Malfoy’s two henchmen in Harry Potter, for instance, appear to be perfectly modeled on Mr. Pluck and Mr. Pyke, described as two ‘creatures and toadies of Sir Mulberry Hawk’, in Nicholas Nickleby.
I am going to make one more try at Dickens during Christmas.? He evidently wrote many, many Christmas tales, some collected into books.? I’m going to try to borrow from the library or buy from Joseph-Beth one or two of those books as my holiday reading – since one of my pleasures is only to read Christmas stuff at Christmas time, whether poetry, prose, mysteries or science-fiction / fantasy.
So one way or the other, I am going to absorb some Dickens yet this year.