Celebrating the Dickens Out of Today

I will celebrate Charles Dickens' 200th birthday tonight by reading the second chapter of Oliver Twist. (I read the first chapter a few days ago.)

I look forward to discovering the terrible nature of one of literature's vilest villains, Bill Sikes.

Interesting tidbit: the author was accused of anti-Semitism when the book was first published. At first, he defended himself. Then, according to Wikipedia, he "then halted the printing of Oliver Twist, and changed the text for the parts of the book that had not been set, which is why Fagin is called 'the Jew' 257 times in the first 38 chapters, but barely at all in the next 179 references to him."

If you want something Dickens-ish — but not by Dickens — consider Drood, a fabulous mystery novel by Dan Simmons that speculates if there wasn't more truth to Dickens' final, unfinished novel.