Friday Reads: Our Favourite Dickens Characters

This week Julian Fellowes launched Belgravia, an app hosting a story of 11 episodes published week by week. Fellowes is following in the tradition of Charles Dickens and the penny press by publishing each episode in instalments (although with the slight difference that Fellowes has written the story in one go rather than in response to reader reactions). Here at Impress, we’re returning to the origin of the Belgravia idea by looking at our favourite characters in Dickens’ novels.

 

Rachel’s going for Inspector Bucket from Bleak House

This novel is a hefty read with a long list of characters, but Dickens manages to paint very different pictures of each. Most of the characters stick to the landscapes they are written at the beginning, but Inspector Bucket infiltrates all the landscapes, appearing at unexpected times and appearing as the voice of reason in many cases. The narrative style of the novel shifts between Esther’s voice and an unidentified omniscient narrator, and I have always harboured the idea that perhaps this omniscient narrator is in fact Inspector Bucket.

 Inspector Bucket

Tom’s opted for Joe Gargery from Great Expectations

Because he is strong of arm and pure of heart!

Joe Gargery

Julie’s also opted for a Great Expectations character with Miss Havisham

Dickens treads a fine line with our sympathies for this character. She is both tragic and vindictive, a victim (a jilted bride) and a victim of her own madness. A strong female lead!

 Miss Havisham

Sarah’s decided that Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol is her favourite

TINY TIM! I KNOW it’s nowhere near Christmas, but everyone in office was harping on about characters in Great Expectations, so I piped up with Tiny Tim in  A Christmas Carol and cue a collective ‘AWWWWWW’ ricocheting off the walls in the office – and this is definitely not forgetting the best depiction of him in the Muppets.

Julian’s opted for Silas Wegg from Our Mutual Friend

Silas Wegg (whose name is a contraction of ‘wooden leg’) is neither one of the nicest characters in Dickens, nor one of the brightest. Nonetheless, he is certainly one of the most memorable. Despite not being wholly literate, he manages to gain himself a place teaching the naïve Mr Boffin to read. But all the time his eyes are on the Boffins’ dust heaps, and his fixation on the treasures these heaps may contain leads to some of the best comedic moments in Our Mutual Friend.

silas wegg.jpg

 

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