Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looking Good at 200; Happy Birthday Mr. Dickens! (1 Day Late)

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens

I miss writing long letters to friends on light blue paper -- paper that could tear at the drop of a pen tip. Perhaps this is why I appreciate the web site Letters of Note so much. If you don't know it yet, here's your chance. Each day a different letter is rescued from obscurity: the handwritten piece next to a word-processed one. I've read letters from David Bowie, Steven Hawking,  and a freed slave --- to name a few.

Below is the beginning of a letter written from Charles Dickens to the daughter of a close friend. I love the sweetness here juxtaposed with the foreboding of his upcoming "dreary voyage to America;" everything I've read about this man over the last few weeks makes me wish that I could have known him and in a way we all can --- through his books --- still alive after almost 200 years.

Dec. 16th. 1841

My dear Mary,

I should be delighted to come and dine with you on your birthday and be as merry as I wish you to be always; but as I am going within a few days afterward, a very long distance from home, and shall not see any of my children for six long months, I have made up my mind to pass all that week at home for their sakes; just as you would like your papa and mamma to spend all the time they could possibly spare with you, if they were about to make a dreary voyage to America; which is what I am going to do myself.  Read on here.

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