Charles Dickens

25 Big Novels That Are Worth Your Time

What we love about big novels is that you have to get really comfortable with them. A big page count usually equals a big chunk of time, meaning you need to be a serious reader without a fear of commitment, but with books like Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, and Sergio de la Pava’s A Naked Singularity receiving heaps of praise and major literary awards in 2013, there is a very great chance that this year will probably see its share of great novels that tip the scales at over 500 pages. With that, we offer you this list of epic page turners that you may have missed, skipped, or just couldn’t finish the first time, because we believe that bigger can certainly be better, and these books are proof of… Read More

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Gorgeous Vintage Illustrations of Dickens Novels in Full Color

Dickens was a novelist so popular in his own time that it is nearly impossible to think of a modern analogue today. (Maybe Stephen King.) At the height of his powers, it’s sometimes written, perhaps one in ten Britons had read his novels. One of his most popular books then — though nowadays it falls behind Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two CitiesGreat Expectations, and any number of others in name recognition — was The Old Curiosity Shop. Dickens’ novels were, as you’ve probably heard before, been published as serials, and when The Old Curiosity Shop was in progress, the fate of its tragic heroine, Little Nell, convulsed both sides of the Atlantic. People wrote Dickens letters demanding that he let her survive. (Spoiler: he didn’t listen to them.) … Read More

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Great Literary Christmas Tales That Aren’t ‘A Christmas Carol’

Charles Dickens has pretty much dominated the Christmas story game for the last 170 years as of this week, since that’s when his famous novella A Christmas Carol was released. To break that down: that’s 170 years of knowing you’re going to hear the story of Bob Crachet, Tiny Tim, the ghost of Jacob Marley, and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge around this time of year. And even though A Christmas Carol might be the best example of mixing high literature with the festive season, Dickens certainly wasn’t the only writer that could write a beautiful Christmas scene. Here are a few other classic, yet underrated, Christmas tales in literature. … Read More

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20 Famous Authors as Dolls

How best to prove your adoration of a particular writer? Make a doll in their likeness, of course. Or if you’re a little less than crafty, buy one. Or, you know, just look at them on the Internet. This last bit you can accomplish right now. Yes, your favorite authors have been immortalized as everything from action figures to wooden works of art to paper dolls to LEGO figurines, and you’ll find 20 of them after the jump. As an added bonus, many of them are buyable, so if you’re still looking to fill your favorite bookish friend’s holiday stocking, look no further. But be prepared for them to think you’re slightly creepy. … Read More

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Ranking the Scrooges: Who Played the Iconic Charles Dickens Character Best?

‘Tis the season to watch multiple adaptations of the iconic 1843 Charles Dickens novella that gave us Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, and the character that defined greed to good, Ebenezer Scrooge. While there are other characters associated with Christmas that never go out of style (Frosty, Rudolph, Ralphie), the longevity of literature’s most famous miser is a testament not just to talent of one of the English language’s greatest writers, but also the many great actors who have taken on the challenge of playing this iconic role. And since Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and your local video store (if you still have one!) offer countless different versions of A Christmas Carol to choose from, we’ve helpfully narrowed it down to the five best.  … Read More

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50 Essential Novels for Foodies

‘Tis the season, as they say, to stuff your face. Thanksgiving, that hallowed day of highly caloric foods and oft-tempestuous family relations, is upon us. To celebrate — or just to escape the festivities for a while — why not nourish the foodie in you with some gourmand-friendly literature? Behold, a spread worthy of kings: 50 essential works of fiction to whet your appetite, and then satisfy it, and then satisfy it some… Read More

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13 of the Best Literary Quotes About Beer

Everybody knows that a beer and a good book go quite well together — including the authors of said books. Since it’s October, everyone’s favorite month for beer (books are good any month of the year), indulge in a few of literature’s greatest quotes about the frothy stuff — from grand pronouncements to so-detailed-you-can-taste-it descriptions of the perfect… Read More

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15 Famous Authors and Their Fashion Label Counterparts

Literature and fashion meet once again as Club Monaco has announced that its flagship retail location will host a bookstore when it opens up this week, leaving us to ponder: what are our favorite authors’ fashion-label counterparts? … Read More

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Then and Now: Photos of Real Places Mentioned in Fiction

Looking through Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins, it’s difficult not to compare the way things were during England’s Georgian and Regency eras with the England of today. The book gives a glimpse at everything from wedding superstitions to the “Bloody Code” (the country’s system of laws and punishments from 1688 to 1815, including the 50 offenses that were punishable by death), which highlight how much has changed since the time of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. But what about the times and places that influenced other classic authors? More specifically, what do the real places mentioned in famous works of fiction look like now? … Read More

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