A Curate’s Egg

I spent much of the day completing my reading of my Folio Society edition of Charles Dickens’s ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’. Much dogged determination and the illustrations of Charles Keeping were required to see me through it. Christopher Hibbert’s informative introduction was helpful, and indicated that the author was pleased with his work. The book was writtenContinue reading “A Curate’s Egg”

The Old Curiosity Shop

Early this morning I finished reading ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens, and scanned the last three of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to my Folio Society edition of 1987. This book bears all the qualities of Mr Dickens’s story-telling. We have mystery, suspense, moving prose, humour, and more than a touch of sarcasm. There isContinue reading “The Old Curiosity Shop”

Wet Roads

Rain beating a clamorous tattoo on the Modus roof; repetitive rapping from a thumping car radio; abrupt slamming of doors; crashing gears of handbrake ratchets; muffled muttering of masked voices; clicking stilettos clopping through puddles – all combined to distract me from the last chapters of ‘Little Dorrit’ as I waited in the car whileContinue reading “Wet Roads”

Hard Times

Early yesterday morning Jackie photographed some of our current garden blooms. Each is labelled in the gallery. We decided to hold these back to today because of the quantity we had published of the St John the Baptist Cemetery photographs. Later, Elizabeth e-mailed me a selection of hers. This is her take on the insertedContinue reading “Hard Times”

A Prizefighter, A Knacker, And A Menagerist

Yesterday I finished reading the fifth and final of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Books. This morning I scanned Charles Keeping’s faithful, first-class, illustrations. Christopher Hibbert, in his informative introduction to my Folio Society edition, offers the insight that this work reflects painful experiences of the writer’s own life. Seeking freedom from his phantoms ‘The Haunted Man’Continue reading “A Prizefighter, A Knacker, And A Menagerist”

Hedge Trimming

This morning I produced an A3 print of his choice for the paraglider from “Sunset Dancing”. Now we are back in National Lockdown handover will probably have to wait a while. In the meantime Jackie photographed the farmer across Christchurch Road trimming his hedge. He didn’t really cause any disruption to traffic, although it wasContinue reading “Hedge Trimming”

A Christmas Carol

Of Charles Dickens’s 5 Christmas Books the best known, which needs no commentary from me, is ‘A Christmas Carol’. I have no need to read it again to scan Charles Keepings’s illustrations for my Folio Society edition of 1988. The introduction is by Christopher Hibbert. Here are the illustrated pages. This evening we dined onContinue reading “A Christmas Carol”

An Internationally Renowned Work

When, in August 1898, Czar Nicholas II of Russia called for all ‘the nations to join a conference for the limitation of armaments’ cynics mistrusted his motives, believing this was because his nation was so far behind the major powers with whom he would never be able to catch up without such breathing space. WeContinue reading “An Internationally Renowned Work”

Edwin Drood

My inspirational teacher, Richard Milward, featured in https://derrickjknight.com/2012/07/04/no-one-forgets-a-good-teacher/ stressed that a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. As I have progressed through my reading life I have come to believe that the journey through a book has been more important to me than the focus on a satisfactory ending. Charles Dickens,Continue reading “Edwin Drood”

Characterisation

‘The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club’ was the 24 year old Charles Dickens’s ┬áserialised debut novel. Such publications in 1836 were the soaps of the period before television and a more leisurely age when reading was a main source of entertainment. The monthly instalments of these comic capers were eagerly awaited by those inContinue reading “Characterisation”