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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Dickens’

ON THIS DATE

Sarah Fuller Flower was born 2/22/1805, at Harlow, Essex, England, the younger daughter of Mr & Mrs Benjamin Flower, editor/owner of The Cambridge Intelligencer.  In 1834 she married William Brydges Adams, a well-known inventor & civil engineer.  She is said to have met William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, & Leigh Hunt & to have corresponded with Robert Browning who reportedly admired her.

 

She contributed 13 hymns to a book published in 1841 among which is her famous “Nearer, my God, to Thee.”   There is a tradition/story that as the ill-famed Titanic sank, the ship’s band played “Nearer, my God, to Thee.”  If so, it perhaps helped more than one to repent.  If not true one could wish that it were. 😦   She died 8/14/1848 in London.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,

Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Refrain

Nearer, my God, to Thee,

Nearer to Thee!

 

 

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“Bah!” “Humbug,” and “Scrooge” are all readily recognized words anytime of year, but especially in December.  And, for good reason – as they are connected to a work called A Christmas Carol

 

Charles Dickens on this date, 12/19/1843, had published A Christmas Carol (publishers: Chapman and Hall), what is in literature known as a novella (nō vel’ lä).  One source says he didn’t start it until in October of that year and did not finish it until the early days of December.  Dickens divided his story, in line with his title, into five stanzas or what most would label chapters.

 

Scrooge, his main character, has a biblical word of his first name, Ebenezer.  And though A Christmas Carol is not a Christian story as such, it seems to have helped make readers/hearers less selfish on and near Christmas.  Two fellow writers, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Carlyle, both seem to have been more give to generiosity after the story appeared.  Reportedly as a result of it, a Boston manufacturer closed his factory for Christmas Day and gave a turkey to each employee.  Even the queen of Norway, later, is said to have given gifts to some crippled children marked “With Tiny Tim’s Love.”

 

A Christmas Carol is still popular and is reported to have never gone out of print.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of credulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…

    – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 1. 

Any strongly marked expression of face on the part of a chief actor in  a scene of great interest to whom many eyes are directed, will be unconsciously imitated by the spectators.

     – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 70. 

I perceive your tongue is…and what the tongue is, I suppose the man is.

     – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 180. 

…The dawning Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death.

     – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 243. 

…The vigorous tenacity of love, always so much stronger than hate…

     – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 366. 

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’

     – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, NY: Barnes of Noble, 1993, 373. 

Charles Dickens died this date, 6/9/1870 at Gadshill, Kent, England.  He wrote many works among which are Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

 

The wind is rushing after us, and the clouds are flying after us, and the moon is plunging after us, and the whole wild night is in pursuit of us; but, so far we are pursued by nothing else.

 

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

 

I am the Resurrection, and the Life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

 

All the above from Dickens Tale of Two Cities

 

Charles Dickens, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) British novelists was born this date (2/7/1812) in England.  He also wrote David CopperfieldA Christmas Carol, etc.   

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