What The Dickens? 10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Charles Dickens

The mind behind David Copperfield, The Pickwick Papers, Little Dorrit, and a few dozen more, Charles Dickens was a fascinating man as well as a fascinating author.

One might find it is rather enjoyable to read a book while knowing a few tidbits of information about the author; it somehow helps one to better understand the theme or the setting of the story.

Without further ado, one can definitely use any of these 10 fun facts about Charles Dickens at their next social engagement, for their personal reading, or simply for the heck of expanding their knowledge.


1. Charles Dickens: A Crafty Wordsmith

Dickens is credited by the Oxford English Dictionary for the first use of the words: fairy story, crossfire, whoosh, slow-coach, dustbin, and butter-fingers.

Makes one wonder what a dustbin would be called in a parallel universe of sorts. The possibilities are endless!

2. Dickens Was The Master Of Unorthodox Eating Habits On Days He Saved For Public Readings

Why have bacon and eggs for breakfast when one could simply take a swig of a rum-and-cream beverage? Heck, let’s go crazy: instead of drinking tea in the afternoon, one should switch it up to a pint of champagne, or perhaps a raw egg mixed in with some sherry.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

3. “And I will walk 500 miles…”

Whenever he worked on a new story, Dickens went on extensive nightly walks that covered between 15 to 20 miles. He would sometimes end up with some heavy colds after strolling his many miles during particularly icy winter nights.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder And Internal Compasses

Dickens’ specific quirks– constantly rearranging furniture, repeatedly combing his hair hundreds of times, and insisting on sleeping while facing north –imply that he might have been affected by an obsessive compulsive disorder.

Source: NewsWeek

Source: NewsWeek

5. A Raven Named Grip

Dickens was accompanied by a raven he fondly named Grip. Word is that both Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe were vastly inspired by the feathery fellow. Grip was stuffed after his demise in 1841.

Source: Daily Mail UK

Source: Daily Mail UK

6. Fake Books. Fake Books Everywhere!

When he moved to his new home in 1851, Dickens was struck with a fun idea; he wrote a list of made-up book titles, delivered them to a bookbinder of his acquaintance, and consequently filled two spaces in his study with fake books.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

7. Epilepsy And Other Characters

Strokes indicated Dickens had epilepsy, which was an affliction he included for a few of his characters such as Monks (Oliver Twist), Bradley Headstone (Our Mutual Friend), and Guster (Bleak House).

8. Truly Affectionate Terms Of Endearment

The man really knew how to woo the ladies; when he courted his soon-to-be wife (Catherine), Dickens referred to her as ‘Dearest darling Pig’ and ‘Dearest Mouse’ in the letters addressed to her.

Unsurprisingly, Catherine and Charles separated after approximately 22 years of marriage.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

9. Charles Dickens Vs. Trains

The Staplehurst rail crash resulted in the tragic deaths of 10 people (and the injuries of 40 more) on July 9, 1865. Dickens helped tend the injured individuals and comforted those who passed on; the unfortunate event caused a traumatized Dickens to lose his voice for two weeks. Since then, he avoided traveling in trains as much as he possibly could.

10. The Ghost Of Christmas Future

Dickens gave his final, one-man show performance of A Christmas Carol in March 15, 1870 to an eager, enchanted audience who bid him a warm farewell. Three months later, the author died at 58 years of age.

Do tell, what is your favorite Charles Dickens story?

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Featured image via DeviantArt

h/t International Business Times