Monday, 5 December 2011

Charles Dickens and Me

I was first forced to read Dickens at school. The book was Oliver Twist, and the length and density of the work put me off. I suppose I was about 12.

Many years later I picked up an old edition of Bleak House and read it almost at one sitting. The humour! The plot! The characterisation! The satire! Something for everyone - you can't not like Dickens.

About a year ago, we moved offices to Cleveland Street in central London, an old road marking the ancient boundary between Camden and Westminster. Doing some research I found that Dickens lived at number 22 when he was just 2, and he enters this address again when registering at the British Museum on the 8th February 1830, when he was 18. Number 22 is now, in a truly Dickensian twist, a button shop.

Just up the road, between us and number 22 is the Cleveland Street Workhouse, which would have been fully occupied in Dickens time. It must have influenced his description of the workhouse in Oliver Twist.

When I was last in Boston I stayed at the Parker House, where Dickens lived for two years, and where the first ever reading of "A Christmas Carol" took place on 3rd December 1867, almost exactly 144 years ago.

I think I've turned into an inadvertent Dickens stalker.

So we're delighted to be publishing an incredible facsimile of an illuminated 1916 edition of "A Christmas Carol" through our digital imprint, eBookTreasures. It's available through iTunes, and if you haven't read it in a while, I commend this version to you.

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