Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Lesson Many Could Still Stand to Learn

In a project to digitize the entire run of one of several journals Charles Dickens used to edit, researchers have found at least one unattributed essay they are confident was actually written by Dickens himself, one of the very few new Dickens writings to be discovered after his death.

The article, a commentary on the patronizing attitudes of middle-class reformers of the era, is not anything particularly novel; we've pretty well been able to establish Dickens' feelings on poverty, the treatment of the poor, the behavior of the wealthy, etc. But while the article doesn't reveal much of anything new about Dickens, it's still a pretty good read.

Perhaps my favorite line from the piece is Dickens explaining to the well-meaning but terribly misguided temperance advocates why their attempt at help is more insulting that anything, telling people of the need to:
"get it into our heads – which seems harder to do than many people would imagine – that the working man is neither a felon, nor necessarily a drunkard, nor a very little child"
Seems like a lesson many people still desperately need to learn...

No comments: