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Like Steve, I was somewhat shocked and utterly appalled at this revelation (from the always provocative Sharp Side blog) about Dickens:


...who was better at imagining a whole cast of characters than Charles Dickens? And what happened when the Indian mutiny broke out? Did Dickens use his prodigious imaginative gifts to understand why there was resistance to the British occupation of India? He certainly dreamed of being Commander in Chief of the British army of occupation. In this role, he assured his dear friend Baroness Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, he would “do my utmost to exterminate the [Indian] Race” and “with all convenient dispatch and merciful swiftness of execution…blot it out of mankind and raze it off the face of the Earth.”

Readers Comments

  1. But does this (should this) affect your reading or your judgment of Dickens's novels?

  2. Never read them, never will.

  3. If you change your mind, start with Bleak House.

  4. re: Stephen Mitchelmore's comment on Dickens' novels ("Never read them, never will"): It warms one's heart to see such intellectual open-mindedness, and on a blog purportedly about books. Well done; and while you're at it, you might want to avoid at all costs Eliot, Hardy, Tolstoy, Flaubert, et al. Too taxing, and, as the original post here points out, the authors may have unsavoury opinions about politics/gender relations/religion/social hierarchies, etc. Best not to even attempt to read such things.

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