Charles Dickens' 200th birthday
For months already, the U.K. has been gearing up to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth today. Some might know Dickens as the author who wrote the never-ending novels we were forced to read in school, but his legacy is very much alive today for good reason — his themes of poverty, the working classes, and social injustice still resonate and made him a major pop culture celebrity in his time. You can celebrate the great author’s bicentenary by downloading and reading his classics for free from the Kindle Store. Or you can get your Dickens on in a slightly less time-consuming way by seeing the way others are celebrating the Great Expectations author:
++ The Google doodle for today features several of Dickens’ most iconic characters. See who you recognize here:
++ A Penguin poll found that readers’ favorite Dickens character is Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
++ The Royal Mail has issued two new stamps depicting Dickens’ work.
++ Never one to write in the spare, brief style that’s in fashion today, some people feel they don’t have the time to curl up with a doorstop of a Dickens novel. Luckily, The Guardian has issued shortened, “digested” versions of his novels.
++ Several famous contemporary authors have written appreciations of Dickens. Here’s a great one from Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell.
++ For hardcore readers, here’s a “fiendishly difficult” but fun quiz that tests how closely you were reading Dickens’ novels.
++ Take a video tour of Dickens’ London with British author and actor Simon Callow.
++ Or take the equally immersive photo tour.
So Dickens fans, how are you going to get Dickensian today?