7th February 2012 is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. To mark the occasion Amanda at Fig and Thistle is hosting January – Charles Dickens Month. As Charles Dickens is one of my favourite authors, I couldn’t resist plunging into it.
Today’s post is about My First Charles Dickens book and how I came into the world of Charles Dickens.
It was my birthday. I was now ten years old. As the birthday girl, I got to have a treat. I could buy any book I wanted. I was pretty excited. But then trips to the bookstore always were (and still are) exciting for a bookworm like me. I wanted Wuthering Heights but my mother wouldn’t let me have it. So, I picked A Tale of Two Cities instead. I had no idea what the book was about but I knew who Charles Dickens was and I wanted to read his more ‘grown up’ books.
I breathlessly finished the book and mostly failed to grasp what was going on. All I knew was that I had fallen in love with the prose. I knew this was something special. Thus began my life long love for the prose of Charles Dickens.
Since then I have re-read A Tale of Two Cities several times. I have understood it far better with time and have grown to deeply love and appreciate it. Sydney Carton has become my all time favourite tragic hero. Each time I find another layer of meaning within it. Even after all this time A Tale of Two Cities remains as fresh as ever. My first Charles Dickens remains close to my heart.
As well as a copy of A Christmas Carol given as a gift as a child, my introduction to Dickens was an early TV production of A Tale of Two Cities. Those first impressions have stayed with me and I still treasure that copy of A Christmas Carol after 50+ years.
A Christmas Carol is a wonderful gift to give to a child. Thanks for sharing your memories of your first Dickens!
I’ve only read four Dickens books so far, though I’m hoping to read more this year. My first was A Christmas Carol, which I was given for Christmas when I was a child and still love reading now. A Tale of Two Cities is one that I haven’t read yet but I’m looking forward to it!
A Tale of Two Cities always leaves me moist eyed. Hope you like it too when you read it. 🙂