Photo: Science Photo Library

Photo: Science Photo Library

This weekend I read an article on the BBC website about Charles Dickens’s cultural longevity and why he is still so much a part of our modern life. I was drawn to this article especially as I recently finished reading the acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens by the outstanding biographer Claire Tomalin.

It is beautifully written and brings Charles Dickens to life. I learned so much about him as a man, a writer, a witness of human life and suffering and as an advocate of justice. He was a mass of contradictions and I now appreciate far more why he is one of England’s greatest novelists. (If you are a fan of Charles Dickens’s work, I would highly recommend this biography.)

The author of the BBC article John Gray said: “Charles Dickens was a close observer of human nature who found endless interest in the theatre of ordinary life“. And these observations are so clearly shown in his novels.

I’d like to share with you 16 of my favourite quotes by Charles Dickens. Some of them appear in his books and are uttered by his characters whilst others were said by him.

1.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.”
A Tale of Two Cities

2.We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
Great Expectations

Photo: BBC

Photo: Great Expectations BBC Drama

3. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

4. “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
A Christmas Carol

5. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
A Tale of Two Cities

6.The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”
Nicholas Nickleby

7.Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
David Copperfield

8. “Family not only need to consist of merely those whom we share blood, but also for those whom we’d give blood.

Oliver Twist Photo:

Oliver Twist

9.It is because I think so much of warm and sensitive hearts, that I would spare them from being wounded.
Oliver Twist

10. “It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”
The Old Curiosity Shop

11. “A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.”
A Tale of Two Cities

12.Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”
Nicholas Nickleby

13.For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.
A Christmas Carol

14.A man is lucky if he is the first love of a woman. A woman is lucky if she is the last love of a man.”

Little Dorritt_BBC

Little Dorritt_BBC

15. “[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.”
Little Dorritt

16.There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
Oliver Twist

Christmas Carol the MovieAs Christmas approaches, Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol begins to appear on television and in the theatres around the UK. The best film adaptation I ever saw was the animated version with Jim Carrey as Scrooge. I do hope it is shown again on television this Christmas. Whilst watching it, I will think of Charles Dickens’s legacy to the English Language and literature and secretly thank him for his tireless contribution.

You may be interested in reading this article as well: Six Things Charles Dickens gave the Modern World

What is your favourite Dickens novel? Who is your favourite character?

If you liked this post please share it. If you don’t want to miss out on my posts, do subscribe to my blog.

Ciao for now.