Friends of the Dickens Forum,

    Tony Pointon <[log in to unmask]> speaks up against libeling a dead author:  (pjm)
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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