Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Large Family Vision - Charles Dickens

'Tis February my friends.

"One month is past, another is begun,
 Since merry bells rang out the dying year,
 And buds of rarest green began to peer,
 As if impatient for a warmer sun;
 And though the distant hills are bleak adn dun;
 The virgin snowdrop, like a lambent fire,
 Pierces the cold earth with it's green-streaked spire
 And in dark woods, the wandering little one
May find a primrose."  February 1, 1842 Harley Coleridge

If you check in the sidebar, I have already shared some morsels of Large Family Vision from Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Edith Wharton, Jane Austen and Chesterton!

I have devoted a little piece of this blog to the ideals of family life that these literary giants leave for us. These men and women affirm me in a way, and help feed my own "large family vision."  I know what it is I am striving for, why we do the background work. Are you interested? Are you so happy you stopped by today??

I have a fairly large classical literature gap in my education.  I am trying to make some ground in that area and unfortunately, I have made very little ground with the works of  Mr. Charles Dickens. In fact, A Tale of Two Cities is the only Dickens I have ever read and that was in highschool.  I DID enjoy it though, I remember that much.

However, we did it! We read A Christmas Carol aloud in our family room over the month of December!  Again, I have seen mutliple versions of A Christmas Carol including a wonderful production of a play performed right here in little Juneau, but oh my...the novel...we savored every minute. isn't a slice of Mr. Cratchit's family that I am going to share with you! Are you shocked?!?!?  I mean, we love Mrs. Cratchit and her Christmas pudding and the poor yet loving family together with their tiny Tim.

Ah, yes, but the Ghost of Christmas Past conducts Scrooge to the home of Belle.  Scrooge lost her...over his love of money...but Dickens has to show Scrooge by saying no to her....he also said no to the joy of a family.  And I love Dicken's voice in this particular passage...

They were in another scene and place: a room, not very large or handsome, but full of comfort.  

Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl, so like the last that Scrooge believed it was the same, until he saw her, now a comely matron, sitting opposite her daughter.

The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous, for there were more children there, than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count

and unlike the celebrated herd in the poem, they were not forty children conducting themselves like one, but every child was conducting itself like forty.  

The consequences were uproarious beyond belief; but no one seemed to care; 

on the contrary, the mother and daughter laughed heartily, and enjoyed it very much; and the latter, soon beginning to mingle in the sports,

 got pillaged by the young brigands more ruthlessly. 

What would I not have given to be one of them!

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