Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Simon Callow's Charles Dickens

Two people have recently said exactly the same thing to me: that I must be planning to assign a lot of Dickens to my high schoolers this fall, because I'd loaded my Goodreads to-read shelf with a bunch of his novels. The real reason is that I've just finished Simon Callow's new biography, Charles Dickens (or called Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World in the U.S.), which I picked up in London to coincide with Callow's one-man play on Dickens which I saw (it was wonderful, by the way). For nearly two hours Callow gave the audience Dickens' bio, hitting all the highlights of his interesting life. Sound a little boring? It wasn't. Callow was highly entertaining. So was his book. I'd learned a lot of new information about Dickens on my 2010 trip to London when I visited his house museum in Bloomsbury. A lot of what Callow did for me though was give both extra information and a fresh perspective on what I already did know about Dickens. Also while reading the bio, I realized how few novels by Dickens I've actually read (only Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol), so I'm motivated to change that. I've got Oliver Twist downloaded onto my Kindle to start when the right moment comes. Here are a few photos from the Charles Dickens Museum:


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