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Since 1979 • February-March 2024 • Circulation 5000

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“The Dickens You Say!”

Christmas Trivia and Inspiration

Nearly 200 years ago, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote his timeless classic, A Christmas Carol, during the six weeks preceding Christmas. Broke at the time, with his last book still an abject failure, he was struggling to support a large family. He self-published his timeless Christmas Classic on Dec 19th, 1844. It was an immediate success and went into reprint several times before the New Year arrived. It was the turning point of his career. The world is enriched because he believed in himself and overcame his personal challenges in life. 

A prolific and well-disciplined writer, Dickens created numerous classics that people all over the world still make time to read and enjoy. People continue to be inspired by his recurring theme of individual triumph over human adversity and impossible odds. Despite the many modern adaptations available, many prefer his original source with its archaic style of dialogue and prose. He provides supporting detail that brings his characters and tales to life and gives a deeper and more meaningful experience to the reader. His work is credited as the cause of the sweeping social reforms of the Victorian Era. Those transforming changes defined the freedoms of democracy that our entire culture is based upon.

His work is informative, instructive, and accurately depicts the social climate of his time. It covers some of the darkest corners of social experience and the harsh realities that are suffered by many through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, many of the problems and conditions that he wrote about continue to be chronic social issues and concerns today. 

Unfortunately, many of the problems and conditions that he wrote about continue to be chronic social issues and concerns today. 

He was a great humanitarian who valued connection to family and community. He never wavered in his belief that people respond well to opportunities to make a better life for themselves or for others. He had little patience with bureaucratic barriers or materialistic worldviews that interfere with helping the downtrodden improve their living conditions. He defied the conventions of his day to make his stories available to people from all walks of life. He reduced their cost so much that any could read and learn from them. Throughout his own journey from poverty and destitution to wealth with fame and acclaim, he maintained his code of ethics and expected others to do the same.   

His personal tips for success and effectiveness in daily life survive through his most-famous quotes. His messages are as relevant today for people to understand, to appreciate, and to act upon as they were when he first delivered them.

As Dickens tells us, “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and to start saying ‘I will.’ ” 

Misty lives in McCauley.

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