On my way to yoga last week, I happened to see two different people reading Great Expectations on the tube. One appeared to be a school boy, and the other a businessman unwinding after a long day at the office. They sat at nearly opposite ends of the train. At the time, I remarked it with a barely audible “hm!” as I’ve seen coincidences before. But today being the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birthday, the remembrance of seeing two men on the train reading his book made me realize how much of his legacy we now take for granted (but maybe the recent BBC adaptation also helped).
One of the first books I remember reading on my own was A Christmas Carol, but the Dickens book I grew to enjoy the most is A Tale of Two Cities. It’s not the most humorous of his novels, but I think it’s one of the most inspiring. If you fail to be moved by the final scenes and Sydney Carton’s last lines, then you’re just not human.
Thankfully I have yet to read all of his work, so I still have lots of Dickens to look forward to.