Miss Havisham speaks

December 31, 2013

havishamRight now we have a display of titles at EPL that I’ve dubbed “Retold and Revisited: Classic Tales from Another Point of View.”  The re-telling device has always been a popular way to look at a well known story and give it a fresh treatment as in Longbourn, the Pride and Prejudice story told by a serving maid, or as in The Innocents, which takes Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence and sets it in contemporary London’s upscale Jewish enclave. I’m currently reading a new release that explores the back story of one of literature’s most enigmatic characters–Miss Havisham, the decrepit, jilted bride from Dickens’s Great Expectations. Ronald Frame’s Havisham is told from Catherine’s own mouth (yes, Frame gives her a first name), and its rich, fleshed-out plot of how we get from a wealthy, young woman in love to that scene when Pip enters Miss Havisham’s ghastly dining room settles many readers’ questions and theories.

For more insight, listen to this interview from last Saturday’s Weekend Edition program with author Ronald Frame and host Linda Wertheimer.

Barbara L.

Happy Birthday, Charles! More on the man who made “bah, humbug” part of the English idiom.

February 7, 2012

I’d like to add to Laura’s post below by directing readers to today’s airing of Morning Edition. Host Linda Wertheimer’s excellent commemoration of one of the world’s most popular and enduring authors offered listeners commentary from other writers, biographical bits, reading remembrances, a variety of linked resources, and more.

David Copperfield  was Dickens’ favorite work — and the first book he wrote in the first person. This illustration (left) circa 1850 depicts Mr. Micawber and young Copperfield. What’s your favorite Dickens? Mine? Oliver Twist.

Barbara L.

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