Dickens: 200 and still dead

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

What is it about dead British authors that makes the world go all wobbly?  We don’t do a lot of this stuff here in the US–or maybe we do and I’m just so far from any cultural hub that news of it doesn’t filter down.  But mostly I’m not sure Americans–few of which live in houses or buildings built before 1940–are quite so romantic or sentimental about our own dead writers…which is a shame, really.

1.  The Prince of Wales and his wife placed a wreath on the author’s grave in Westminster Abbey before heading to the Charles Dickens Museum.  The BBC.

2.  Writers on both sides of the pond use Dickens as an excuse to stand on a current topic soapbox:

3.  Dictionary.com offered up a word which entered the English vocabulary thanks to Dickens:  pecksniffian (adj.) or, in variation, pecksniffery (n.).  [These words could be nudged into common use if news media outlets used them to describe the characters in the race for the Republican nomination!]

4.  Google made a doodle.

Isn’t it about time that everyone celebrated dead American authors with such panache?


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