The Old Curiosity Shop is peopled with an assortment of fascinating characters--saintly and evil, poor and rich.
On one hand, we have the generous, the kind, the hard-working... We have Christopher "Kit" Nubble--poor in finances, but rich in character. Why he's almost saintly...
On the other, we have Daniel Quilp--greedy, vile, villainous. But, I wonder, is he a product of the cruel treatment he has received due to his appearance? Oh, I could write a thesis on Quilp.
'first issued serially in 1840-1841 in Dickens's own weekly, Master Humphrey's Clock; it was published in book form in 1841' -The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica
I met Charles Dickens in junior high (middle school). The assigned reading was Oliver Twist. Oh, how I loved that book. It wasn't an easy read--Dickens' prose reads like poetry and journeys far and wide--but still I fell in love. Later, while in university, I met Dickens again. My Introduction to Social Work course held him up as a hero of the poor and downtrodden.
An overlooked Charles Dickens novel shows the writer at his madcap best
by Simon Winder
madcap like: 'Dickens would plunge his head in the water, stand upright, give himself a shake and then keep on writing.'
The Enduring Appeal of Charles Dickens: Still Entertaining Us, 150 Years Later (CBC podcast)
Spoiler alert: listen to this podcast after you finish reading The Old Curiosity Shop.
The Mystery of Charles Dickens by A.N. Wilson
Newly released (August 4)
a biography that 'seeks to understand Dickens' creative genius and enduring popularity'.