D is for Dickens


Charles Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth England and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the 19th Century. During his lifetime he wrote 16 novels (one remained unfinished) and numerous collections of short stories. He suffered from severe insomnia and is widely regarded as a genius, his novels remaining popular today.

Dickens first found success with “Sketches by Boz”, which were weekly pieces published when he was just 24 years old. From there he was approached by a publisher and the rest, as they say is history.

Often described as the greatest creator of characters since Shakespeare, they were often based on people he met as he walked the streets of London. The settings for his novels were also based on real places, and many still exist today (especially in Rochester where I live…lucky me!).

He wrote extensively about London, appalled at the conditions the lower classes were subjected to and campaigned for social reforms. He died of a stroke in 1870 (just up the road from me) at the age of 58.

My favourite Dickens Quotes:

“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before t will explain itself.”

“Be natural my children. For the writer that is natural has fulfilled all the rules of art.”

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”

Here’s a great video from a fellow Wrimo who went to visit the churchyard that inspired Great Expectations….one day I will do something like this 🙂

Dickens used his fiction as a springboard to highlight social abuse and deprivation in Victorian society, bringing the subject to the attention of the reading public. It’s generally believed that many of the reforms that were made during that period are down to Dickens influence. This got me thinking about how, as authors, it is easy to sound off about what we think is right and wrong about our societies, in a work of fiction. Personally, its not something I’ve ever done, consciously….yet, but an interesting concept that i’d like to explore…. Have you ever based one of your stories on a social problem you’d like highlighted?

Beautiful + Inspiring…GO ME!

I’ve been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by Hezalyte at Iridessence Indeed and by Ayesha Shroeder Anushka at Finding My Creature Kristi at Dressed To Quill Jane Ayres Patsy Collins and Cheryl at Catching Fireflies for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award *squeals* Thank you so much ladies 🙂 What can I say? How many nominations can a girl get in a 2 week period? Lol *blush*

I’ve already received both these awards in the past, so wow! Surely I should be drop dead gorgeous by now and inspiring everyone across the world *snigger* No? It doesn’t work like that? Oh well 😉

The rules are the same for both of these. Say thank you to the blogger who nominated you (done). List 7 facts about yourself and then nominate 7 bloggers….so lets see, you know I’m a rule breaker, so rather than list 7 things about myself I’m going to show you the town where I live. All the photos taken by me 🙂

Some of you may know I live in Rochester (Kent) in the UK. The town was frequented by Dickens who lived close by. He loved the place (as do i!) so much that he was inspired to use a lot of the locations in the town for his books.

This is the Cathedral graveyard where you’ll find the grave of Little Dorritt.


Below, The Vines, where Dickens would often be seen walking (no doubt mulling a plot over). He was seen in here, leaning against a fence people watching the day before he died.


The Cathedral, 2nd oldest in the country, after Canterbury.


Dickens chalet, where he wrote some of his masterpieces. It was moved from his garden to its current location after his death.


The Castle, site of many a battle! Dickens would often be seen walking round it talking to himself.


Dickens wanted to be buried in the Castle Moat, but when he died, Queen Victoria wouldn’t allow it and insisted his body be laid to rest in Westminster Abbey. The first, and only time an English monarch has ever over ruled a persons last will and testament.


Eastgate House, featured in two of Dickens novels. He obviously found it inspiring as a location.


Restoration House, famous in its own right, but now, people come to stare at it because Dickens used it for Miss Haversham’s house in Great Expectations. I don’t know if Dickens ever got to go inside, but I have 😉


And finally, Minor Cannons Row, which lies behind the Cathedral. Dickens used it in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.


I could have shown you sooooo much more, but this post is turning into 2 posts lol 😉 So now, back to business 😉

I’m nominating the following bloggers for the Beautiful Blogger Award
Holly Michael
Bridget Whelan
Florence at Ramblings From The Left
Sabrina at Creativity or Crazy
Sam at Him, Her and Us
Madalyn Morgan
Bel Anderson

I’m nominating the following bloggers for the Inspiring Blogger Award
Cheryl at Creating Space 365
Sue at sassyspeaks
Lin at Voices in My Head
Joanne Phillips
Morgen Bailey
Patsy Collins
Sue at The Long & The Short Of It

So on top of all that I’ve also been nominated again for the Blog Of The Year award, this time by Hunter Emkay and Chris Stocking so a huge thank you to both! It appears I now have 8 stars 🙂

Please take a moment to visit some of these wonderful bloggers and I hope you enjoyed the mini tour 🙂 Do you find where you live inspiring?