Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Complete Works

We now own the Complete Works of Charles Dickens in 16 volumes. It's a purchase I've wanted to make for years, but could never quite justify to myself.

But Ailz is on a Dickens jag now.  She's read  Bleak House, Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend in quick succession and the cupboard was bare.

The guy was asking £80. When pressed he said he was prepared to knock off 10%. In the end Ailz, with her shameless bartering skills, talked him down to £50.

We're now reading David Copperfield simultaneously. My copy belonged to my grandmother and is therefore sort of precious.

This Collected Edition is old but not very old. I'd guess it was printed in the 1920s or 30s. It was only ever a cheap edition. The binding is cloth pretending (not very hard) to be leather with a likeness of the older, beardy Dickens embossed on the front cover. 

I was reading Chesterton on Dickens last night. Chesterton is brilliant but annoying. He will persist in judging the later novels by the standards of the early novels, thereby missing the point. And he keeps dragging Catholicism into the argument- a bit like Mr Dick with King Charles' head. 

When I finish David Copperfield I'm spoiled for choice. I was thinking of going for A Tale of Two Cities, but I'm also tempted by  the shorter fiction- very little of which I've read before.  Mugby Junction is supposed to be good. So is George Silverman's Explanation. 

Charlie Chaplin was asked in old age about his favourite authors and said he couldn't be bothered with anyone but Dickens. I know exactly how he felt.
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