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Interesting Facts about Charles Dickens

As you know, the theme of this week is Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. Here are several interesting facts about him:

  1. His name “Dickens” was a curse, possibly invented by Shakespeare – Instead of saying, “What the devil?” as a profanity, people exclaimed, “What the dickens?” The first usage of that word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor;

  2. In 1846 Dickens co-founded Urania Cottage, a home for the redemption of “fallen” women where accepted candidates could learn skills, often domestic, to read and write and re-integrate into society;

  3. Dickens was keenly interested in the paranormal, and has even been linked to the famous paranormal investigation group “The Ghost Club” of London;

  4. In his study he had a secret door which was designed like a bookcase filled with fake books rumored to include titles like Noah’s Arkitecture and a nine-volume set titled Cat’s Lives;

  5. The Oxford English Dictionary credits him with the first use of butter-fingers, crossfire, dustbin, fairy story, slow-coach, and whoosh. He also gets the credit for ‘boredom’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, coined in his novel Bleak House (1852-3), but this has since been traced back even earlier, to 1830;


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