Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     Tony Pointon <[log in to unmask]> speaks up against libeling a 
dead author:  (pjm)
> Susan jhirad may be classified by Stephen Jarvis and others as a
> "traditional" Dickensian, but, given her review of the anti-Dickens
> publications over the last few years when  it seems to have been profitable
> to denigrate Dickens, traditional Dickensians now seem to be those who seek
> to interpret everything they can find - however suspect - to damage his
> reputation. I did, on one occasion, have the temerity to correct a speaker
> who, in an after dinner speech, said that Dickens left his wife for a young
> actress: one would have thought I had criticised Mohammed to a group of
> Islamists.
> The truth is that, of the authors whose books have been written to
> denigrate Dickens, I do not believe there is one who would have dared make
> the same accusations against him if he had been alive and could sue
> them. When  I did challenge one person on that score, the reply I got  was
> "You cannot libel Dickens because he is dead." Of course one can libel him,
> it is just that he is not in a position to sue, and the Dickens Fellowship
> which is damaged by the unfounded accusations does not have the locus to do
> anything about it.
> Tony Pointon