Correspondence between yr humble scribe and Charles Dickens:
I have recently finished reading your novel, The Old Curiosity Shop, which was originally serialised in the publication Master Humphrey's Clock.
I wish to congratulate you on your excellent depiction of attempting to
deal with a relative with a gambling addiction, and your entertaining
story of dealing with a man addicted to being a d---. I must also admire
your craft in creating such a sensation in the public over the fate of
However, if I have one criticism, it is
this; that the novel is distinctly lacking in badassery. If you could
correct this in your next novel, which I believe will be serialised
under the title Barnaby Rudge, you will have proved yourself not only the most Popular, but also one of the Greatest men of letters in the English language.
you for your kind words regarding my recent work, which you have
certainly read and commented on in a timely manner. Unfortunately due to
the confusion in the date and the unsuitable language I will not be
able to publish your letter.
I am unfamiliar with the
word "badassery". In attempting to puzzle over it's meaning, I have
broken it down. As for "bad", there are certainly several "bad"
characters in the novel, notably Daniel Quilp, possibly the most
repulsive of my creations. The word "ass" is more of a puzzle; a notable
quadruped makes several appearances, but he is clearly defined as a
pony. In addition, he is not so much bad as irascible. If you refer to
the word metaphorically, then, again, Mr Quilp could well be an a--.
will leave you with one final thought; as you are no doubt aware many
people including close and dear friends of mine expressed an opinion on
their desired ending of The Old Curiosity Shop before it's conclusion. In the end I followed my own advice, as I intend to with future works.
For more of my Dickens reviews, most of which are more useful than this one, click here.
To read The Old Curiosity Shop online, click here.