Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

charles dickensFebruary 7 is the 199th birthday of Charles Dickens, one of England’s most acclaimed and influential writers and an author whose works are frequently studied in high school English classes.

February is the perfect time to rediscover the man so often unappreciated by ninth-graders who stare at the length of Great Expectations with horror.

During Dickens’ era, his serialized stories were wildly popular, with clinching cliff-hangers and some of the best characterization of all time. When the weather outside is frightful, why not curl up by the fire, transport yourself to Victorian England and read some of Dickens’ trenchant social commentary?

Check out David Copperfield or A Tale of Two Cities to sample a Dickens classic–or the unforgettable story of the orphaned Pip in Great Expectations, a book that might last you until it begins to feel like Spring again.

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