Oodles of things have been written about Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and words are never enough. He was a wordsmith alright, something admitted by everyone who has read his masterpieces. When it comes to hardships, calamities and unfairness Dickens is the first one to come to mind. He is the only one whose name has become an actual word-specifically an adjective to describe the hungry, the poor, the filthy, the unappreciated.It is a personal feat and an acknowledgement of his excellent writing skills.
Here are the 11 facts about Dickens :
1) He was sent to work in a factory at the age of 12 since his father was behind bars for debts
2) “The signal Man” is based on a personal experience. Taken from 1865 when there was a trail derailment in Staplehurst. Seven train carriages toppled-off a bridge which was under repair. His car was the first to be spared when the train stopped ultimately. But this scarred him for life.
3) In 1846 Dickens was the co-founder of Urania Cottage,a home for the “fallen women” where they could learn domestic activities and try to readapt to society.
4) Paranormal was his “soft spot” and it is rumoured that he was a member of the Paranormal investigation club “The Ghost Club” in London.
5) He had a pet raven named Grip, which he had given to be stuffed when it died in 1841.
6) He was an obsessive compulsive rumoured to have been re-arranging his furniture every now and again and having his head pointed towards North, while sleeping.
7) He had ten children and gave each one nicknames such as “Skittles” and “Plorn”.
8) He had a great sense of humour, too. In 1857, while Hans Christian Andersen was visiting him and his family and stayed for 5 weeks, the visit ended abruptly because Dickens wrote on the mirror: “Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks which seemed to the family AGES!”
9) Boston. Thousands of people gathered to await the ship which carried chapter 71 from his book “The Old Curiosity Shops”. The crowd asked the captain a hint from the book: “Is Nell dead?”
When the captain gave a positive answer everybody gave a loud groan disappointed.
10)He was a keen supporter of hypnotism and used it to cure his wife’s and children’s illnesses.
11)He had a secret door in his study, designed like a bookcase and filled with fake books. It is believed that this is where he kept titles like “Noah’s Architecture” and a nine-volume set titled “Cat’s Lives”.