“Janet! Donkeys!”

For those who don’t recognize the exclamation above, that’s Miss Trotwood, giving the alarm that the animals are treading on her tidy lawn. Unfortunately, her lawn fronts on a road and the donkeys are regular visitors. Her pared-to-the-essence cry to swift action delighted me, so I decided to use it for the blog.

I’m starting to read all of Dickens’ novels, and I thought it would be enjoyable to share the voyage with anyone else who cares to join. If you’ve already read Pickwick, Great Expectations, and all the rest, or some of them, or if you think you might want to read them, come along.

I’m reading them in the order that Dickens wrote them, except for one. I’ve started with David Copperfield, because I was interested in some of the autobiographical parts of the story. (Also, it was the only one I had in the house.)

Years ago, I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature, and yet, I have just realized, I finished both degrees without ever having to read anything by Dickens. Criminal!

I have to admit, though, that it’s very pleasurable to have this wonderful … continent of stories … virtually unexplored. Of course, I’d read A Christmas Carol long before I ever went to college, and have re-read it many times. And I read A Tale of Two Cities a couple years ago. But there is so much more to Dickens.

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