Today, February 7th, is The famous author Charels Dickens 200th birth day. We all know that Dickens wrote about poverty, injustice, crime with great humor. Here are a few things we don’t know about him…
- Dickens was preoccupied with looking in the mirror and combing his hair – he did it hundreds of times a day. He rearranged furniture in his home – if it wasn’t in the exact “correct” position, he couldn’t concentrate. Obsessed with magnetic fields, Dickens made sure that every bed he slept in was aligned north-south. He had to touch certain objects three times for luck. He was obsessed with the need for tidiness, often cleaning other homes as well as his own.
- While best known for A Christmas Carol, Dickens actually wrote five books about Christmas: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, as well as A Christmas Carol. They were all published between 1843-1848.
- Dicken’s study had a secret door designed to look like a bookcase. The shelves were full of fake books with witty titles, such as Noah’s Arkitecture and a nine-volume set titled Cat’s Lives. One of his favorites was a multi-volume series called The Wisdom of Our Ancestors, dealing with subjects like ignorance, superstition, disease, and instruments of torture, and a companion book titled The Virtues of Our Ancestors, which was so narrow that the title had to be printed vertically.
- Dickens’ story The Signal Man is partly derived from personal experience. In 1865 Dickens was involved in the famed Staplehurst rail crash in which seven train carriages toppled off a bridge that was under repair. Dickens narrowly avoided catastrophe as his own car was the first to be spared once the train finally stopped, however the incident scarred him mentally.