Everyone in the Nosy Crow office is celebrating – with tea and cake of course!- in the most Dickensian place around. Not only did Dickens live on Lant Street (where the Nosy Crow office is) when he was a teenager while his family spent time in the Marshalsea debtors’ prison (Lant Street is off Marshalsea Road), but now almost every street around us is named after the author, his works or his characters. We have Little Dorrit Park, Copperfield Street, Weller Street and Pickwick Street… and the Charles Dickens Primary School is on the corner. (You can see where we are here.)
Kate recently read and blogged about Claire Tomalin’s biography of the great man himself.
The closest we get to a Dickensian story (though, admittedly, it’s set a few decades after his death at the every end of the 19th Century) is our just-published Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge. It’s got quirkily-named characters, like Montgomery Flinch, engaged in a high-drama plot involving the residents of Bedlam Hospital (the Bethlehem hospital in the Dickens’ quote below) in a wintry London setting.
Christopher Edge says, “Dickens always struck me as being like two people crammed into one: an incredible writer and a brilliant performer. I though it would be interesting to imagine one half of him as a thirteen year-old girl!”
In his blog post about the publication of Twelve Minutes to Midnight, Christopher quotes Dickens:
“I chose next to wander by Bethlehem Hospital … partly, because I had a night fancy in my head which could be best pursued within sight of its walls and dome. And the fancy was this: are not the sane and the insane equal at night as the sane lie a-dreaming? Are not all of us outside this hospital who dream more or less in the condition of those inside it every night of our lives?”
You can read the first chapter of Twelve Minutes to Midnight below.