Looking for the Dickensian Around Us...
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My suggestion is the tv show The Vicar of Dibley which plays on a local pbs channel but is produced by BBC. If it is not on your local tv schedule then try your local library for video rentals. Both the characters and the humor are Dickensian in a way that I see no where else. It is also the best kept secret around.
Sometimes the public education system seems rather Dickensian to me.
In my mind to be truly Dickensian is to live in the world with sincerity, honor, belief in right, to not fear being odd, to be sensitive, and last but most important to not be mean or selfish- like a Ralph Nickleby. If one has the qualities of the latter then like the latter one must change or be expelled.
Steerforth of DC had to be expunged and Scrouge of Christmas Carol had to change; they lacked the true merits to be worthy of living in the Dickensian world.
Of course the quintessential Dickensian characters are Cheeryble brothers; who if preface notes are to be believed actually lived.
He is a vegan, who is very earnest, and is married to a very statuesque, beautiful, red haired wife -Eliazabeth- who happens to be 21 yrs younger and because of his own height the top of his head comes up to below her chin. I am sure they love one another very much.
He is running for the presidency but he is just not going to get it.
His gentle, vegan, Quixotic, loveable, and well intentioned ways lead me to think he qualifies for being truly Dickensian.
George Muller, about whom several biographies have been written, was a 19th-century Prussian-born drinker, gambler, womanizer living in England and who ended up in prison due to debt, but who after his release went off to university paid for by his dad until George became a passionate Christian determined to live in total dependence on God for provision and guidance--in everything, and to the extreme--by taking his needs to God in prayer, and not even group prayer or prayer requests, but private prayer. For ex, in one scene, Muller had all his orphans seated ready to eat breakfast, but there was no breakfast and Muller never told the kids that, then a knock on the door from a baker with bread, saying he was not able to sleep at all because the Lord impressed upon him to get up and make bread for them. This is how Muller lived.
There was a serious street children problem in England then and Muller felt led to start an orphanage. It ended up that over his lifetime it housed over 120,000 orphans and without any appeals whatsoever the sprawling orphanage home complex that he built was sustained by donations not even asked for (except in prayer to God), $2.5 million then, or about equivalent of $200 million now, and Dickens providentially ended up contributing to this.
Dickens had heard rumors that orphans in Muller's homes were not being cared for well, so he showed up unannounced to find out for himself. Muller gave him the keys to visit whichever home he wanted and see for himself. Dickens was so impressed with the care and education that he wrote about it, giving publicity that no amount of money could've bought. So, not only is Dickens in the movie (just a bit), but the subject of the movie shared Dickens' concern for orphans.