Friends of the Dickens Forum,

     Ruth Richardson <[log in to unmask]>  relies on the experience 
of readers of
"the real Dickens" to judge him fairly:                     (pjm)

> I entirely agree with Susan Jhirad. Bashing Dickens is a fashion that I
> hope will pass. He is so good that lesser mortals want to bring him down,
> or aid their own careers with some new flagrant accusation. It will pass,
> as the books stand for themselves, and there are plenty of readers of the
> real Dickens who know very well that he was aware of his own weaknesses,
> and was a deeply humane and life-affirming writer. His books will stand.
> On Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 6:55 PM, Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Friends of the Dickens Forum,
>>      Others have expressed similar sentiments, but Susan Jhirad
>> <>  has assembled
>> a number of recent animadversions on Dickens's character and speaks up for
>> a balanced view:            (pjm)
>>> As we fondly remember Dickens and his efforts to help other wounded and
>>> dying passengers during the traumatic Staplehurst crash, I feel compelled
>>> to comment on the recent spate of “Dickens-bashing” articles and books that
>>> have emerged of late. First, the late Christopher Hitchens writing in *The
>>> Atlantic Monthly* in 2010, “The Dark Side of Dickens: Why Dickens was the
>>> best of authors and the worst of men.” Recently, also in *The Atlantic*, an
>>> article “Was Dickens a Thief?” implying that he not only “stole” the idea
>>> of *The Pickwick Papers* from the illustrator Robert Seymour, but that he
>>> was in some way responsible for Seymour’s suicide! Finally, recent books-
>>> Robert Gottlieb’s *Great Expectations*, focusing on the failures of
>>> Dickens’ children and tending towards blaming him as a bad father. Then,
>>> Lilian Nayder’s well researched but rather biased book *The Other Dickens*,
>>> again suggesting that Dickens was something of a monster towards his
>>> wonderfu!
>> l, talented wife and women in general. Now all biographers  certainly
>> agree, he treated Catherine badly at the end of their marriage, but there
>> are many of us who are in no position to “cast stones” at those who leave
>> unhappy marriages, or happen to fall in love with others.
>>> We all know Dickens was no saint, but was he really “the worst of men?”
>>> or for that matter, “the worst of fathers?” As Claire Tomalin notes in her
>>> excellent biography, “He loved children,” and took a deep and active
>>> interest in his own children, especially when they were young. Insofar as I
>>> have read, he had no adulterous affairs for most of his marriage (compare
>>> him, please, to Philip Roth or John Updike, for example!) Is anyone out
>>> there as disturbed as I by this recent trend towards “Dickens-bashing?”
>>> Susan Jhirad