Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ladybird Tuesday - Charles Dickens

The Ladybird book Charles Dickens is from Series 561 - Adventure from History. It's a large series featuring books about many notable historical figures. I've also looked at Nelson from this series and I have quite a few more in my collection. Charles Dickens was published in 1965.

Vintage Ladybird book Charles Dickens

The inside covers of the book feature a series of cartoons depicting famous figures from Dickens' works and the title of the book in which they appear, for example Scrooge and Fagin. The book is arranged in the typical Ladybird style, with a page of (fairly dense) text on the left and accompanying illustration on the right.

The book begins with Dickens' early life in Chatham and London, where he had many experiences that would later feature in his books. It's interesting to read about a few of these and which stories they featured in, for example the year and a half spent working in a solicitor's office where he met many unusual people and gained knowledge of the law, both of which provided him with plenty of material for his books.

Charles Dickens Ladybird book

I like that the books in this series are written in a really conversational tone, and are filled with anecdotes about their subject. There are also little notes of a general historical nature, for example when Dickens' wedding to Catherine Hogarth is mentioned it is accompanied by a description and illustration of the sort of clothing that people wore then, and a note that the long dresses of the women must have got very dirty because of the muddy streets. A page about a railway accident in which Dickens was involved includes information about the trains that people travelled in at the time, along with a picture to help the reader imagine the scene.

Charles Dickens book

The story of Charles Dickens' is brought to life really well, intertwining biographical details with information about his books and stories. I've only read a couple of his books, but as the Ladybird book points out, many of his characters are familiar to me because they are constantly referred to in popular culture. It's a really interesting book!

I'm joining in with Ladybird Tuesday at Being Mrs C. You can see all my previous Ladybird Tuesday posts here.

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