Dickens Day 2012

It might be the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth, but the author's tales of class and culture remain as relevant as ever. If you haven't picked up a Dickens novel since school (or you've never picked one up at all), then now is the perfect time to (re)discover the celebrated writer.

To whet your appetite, here are Mumsnetters' thoughts on five of Dickens's novels...

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations

  • I loved Great Expectations as did my old Dad... he has "What larks, Pip, what larks" on his gravestone. Mrsrobertduvall
  • Great Expectations is simply outstanding and a great first Dickens read. AnonymousBird
  • Great Expectations is a very accessible story, not over long and if I recall correctly, doesn't have too many silly side stories. CinderellaSweepsUp
  • Great Expectations appeals to my sentimental side, it's pure Victorian melodrama. The prose when Pip professes his love for Estella in front of Miss Havisham is beautiful and powerful as Miss Havisham realises the enormity of her meddling... sigh. Must read it again. Becaroooo


A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities

  • I always found A Tale of Two Cities the most inherently fascinating. In some ways it's not 'Dickens as we know it', as it's not set in Dickensian London, but in the London and Paris of the past. BelfastBloke
  • I recommend A Tale of Two Cities as the most gripping and most wonderfully written of all his works. Elliemae77
  • Another vote for Tale of Two Cities. It's a terrific story that zips along at quite a pace, has some wonderfully sinister characters and yes, a tear-jerker at the end. Only annoyance was Lucie Manette, another drippy Dickens heroine... oh so ludicrously faint-prone! Maud2011
  • Please read A Tale of Two Cities - I feel evangelical about it, like I need to spread the word so people can discover it. MissM

David CopperfieldDavid Copperfield

  • I love Dickens - my favourite is probably David Copperfield, I was reading it on the bus, and found myself both weeping and laughing at different points. Other travellers must have thought I was a bit odd. Beamur
  • I loved Dickens as a teenager and can't bear him now. All those wimpy heroines pining away in corners. But A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield were my favourites. Madame Defarge is an antidote to the wilting women. Fennel


Hard TimesHard Times

  • Can I cast another vote for Hard Times? It is short but I also think it's one of his best. Queenoftheharpies
  • It's shorter and less densely written. I often think it seems like a Dickens-précis. But still very good. OrmIrian
  • Hard Times is the only Dickens I've really enjoyed. Characters I could actually care about and circumstances that I could relate to. Ooopsadaisy
  • Not one of his better-known novels, but a real page turner. Jessicatmagnificat

Our Mutual FriendOur Mutual Friend

  • One of his greatest, I think. But maybe it's one you need to get round to gradually, after reading a few others as a warm-up! heuchera
  • Our Mutual Friend is one of my faves - it has much more rounded woman characters in it than some of the others. Kathyis6incheshigh
  • I'd never read any Dickens before, I was surprised by how funny, contemporary and moving it was. BenderBendingRodriguez
  • Did Our Mutual Friend for A Levels and it was quite brilliant - not one of his better known works and it is nearly 1000 pages long but well worth the read...gazzalw


Last updated: about 3 years ago