Charles Dickens, whose 200th birthday it was yesterday, is famed for providing his characters with memorable names.
M’Choakumchild the schoolmaster in Hard Times, Pumblechook from Great Expectations and Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist
So powerful was Dickens’ ability to name his characters that some took on a life beyond their books. Scrooge is the best known, but Pecksniff, the hypocrite from Martin Chuzzlewit, is another.
Alongside a cast of memorable characters, Dickens’ books are renowned for their flowing prose and great humour.
Dickens’ writing ability could barely conceal itself, even in his daily correspondence. Paul Fraser Collectibles currently has one such fine example for sale. In the handwritten note to Philip H. Howard, dated 1851, Dickens writes:
Allow me to thank you for your obliging letter and to express my regret that you were not present at the dinner, and that I was not at home when you did me the favour to call. Faithfully Yours”.
Dickens handwritten signed letters are a booming sector with collectors. They have risen in value by 15.69% pa since 2000, from £795 ($1,260) to £3,950 ($6,250), according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.
Charles Dickens: he could write a good letter
Our piece is available for £3,500 (approx. $5,550), significantly below the Index price – which offers investors superb value.
So, want to know your Dickensian name? Take the Christian name of one of your grandparents and the name of your first school.
By Garfield Boutcher (AKA Dan)