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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Dickens’ Will

It was clear; the man was a great communicator and he knew what he wanted:

In 1869, a year before Charles Dickens died, he wrote in his will that he wanted to be remembered for his work alone. No plaques, no statues, “no monument memorial or testimonial whatever” were to be allowed to commemorate the life of one of Britain’s greatest authors.

And now, 140 years later, a few people who believe they know better, wish to erect a statue or two. If they get their way or no, they will, undoubtably, have failed.

6 Responses to “Dickens’ Will”

  1. minx says:

    I am now considering my own deathbed requests – a statue akin to The Angel of the North should do it. I trust that no one will decide it’s a good idea – then again….

    jb says: Is it a statue that large, minx, or do you just want something on a hill?

  2. Darryl says:

    Nothing so grand for me… just afix a lifelike pigeon atop Nelson’s column.

    jb says: Hi Darryl. There was one there already last time I walked past.

  3. Pearl says:

    hm yes, that’s tricky. But still, maybe people’s consciousness will be raised about his work with a statue pointing him out.

    jb says: Hi Pearl. Didn’t know you were in marketing.

  4. Darryl says:

    Dickens was a very conservative man, believing in working hard and not pandering to the idle but despite that he did a lot of work with philanthropists helping the poor and then spoke up against the practice noting it was wrong to have people feeling beholden to a wealthier class for assistance they direly needed, leading him to favour an approach that insitutionalised assistance with poverty to remove the vagaries and whims of donators.

    QED The dole – which is.. pandering to the idle? He certainly didn’t shy away from issues and dug deep to seek solutions. A statue could be erected to his actions in sociology apart from his great works that can stand as testimony by themselves. I remember a description of people standing on the docks at NY harbour yelling out to incoming ships, “Is Little Nell dead?” when waiting for the next installment of the story.

    Those dirty pigeons.. they think of everything..

  5. minx says:

    Something over the hill, probably.

    jb says: HaHa. I know the feeling well.

  6. plaque says:

    No other memorial is necessary, his work stands on it’s own. Some people just don’t get that somehow, sad. 🙁