Today, 7 February, is Charles Dickens's 200th birthday. He was and continues to be my inspiration. Every year I reread at least one of his books, for the sheer fun of it as well as the re-setting of impossibly high standards. No matter how many times I reread his stories, I always discover something new. This was a writer who could give a chair a personality.
He inspired my love of English history and taught me to love a city I'd never seen—London—and set off that writer's itch that keeps me going and enriches my travels and makes me endlessly curious about the past, especially the world he grew up in and lived in and wrote about.
I am not sure I would have written a single novel, if not for him.
Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for all you've given us & all you've given me.
The illustration of a young Charles Dickens (about age 30 if the info is correct), is from Wikipedia—and quite a different look from the more familiar portraits of his older self.