Me and Charles
It is exactly 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens. I admit I had difficulty ‘getting on’ with Dickens at school. I encountered his work in more detail than I wished to through GCSEs and then A level English Literature. I found the novels (I know I won’t win any fans here) contrived. I didn’t feel they were genuine and I didn’t feel they spoke to me.
They didn’t speak to me until I was an adult. They didn’t speak to me until I had a greater understanding of the world and the inequalities that exist in our world. They didn’t speak to me until I understood them beyond the stories that they tell.
My appreciation and yes, love, for Dickens has developed over my adulthood and was not nurtured in my childhood because as I learnt more about society and the world I live in, I was able to relate his world to mine and I saw him more as holding a critical eye up to the world and society around him and remarking on it.