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All About Dickens > Favourite Quotations by Charles Dickens

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message 1: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (last edited May 09, 2021 04:26AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments

Do you have a favourite quotation by Charles Dickens? Or a dozen or more, perhaps? This is where we can share quotations from Charles Dickens's novels, letters, or other works, which we really like :)

EDIT: Of course some quotations acts as spoilers. So please be aware that comments 48 onwards are spoilerish about Dombey and Son.


message 2: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments And I'll kick it off with one for "Aunt Betsey's Fan Club", from our recent group read of David Copperfield:




message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments “A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I could have chosen a bazillion others. One of the most quotable writers who ever lived.


message 4: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Isn't he, Sara? I like that one; not one I would remember either :)


message 5: by France-Andrée (new)

France-Andrée (iphigenie72) | 375 comments There is the opening lines of David Copperfield: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” I’ve never forgotten them because being the hero or not of your own life seem to apply to everyone.


message 6: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments I love that line! It's so clever as it makes us think, and also tells us succinctly who is narrating :)

Here's another from David Copperfield - the unforgettable Mr. Micawber:




message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Love them both. Another from Copperfield that struck me as being the perfect way to describe someone my age looking back on life.

"Let me think, as I look back upon that flowing water, now a dry channel overgrown with leaves, whether there are any marks along its course, by which I can remember how it ran."


message 8: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Ooooh I remember that one - so poetic :) I wonder if it's just because we read it so recently.


message 9: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Oh, I think so, Jean. I can't quote a single line from Little Dorrit, but I'll bet I can cite dozens of quotes after we have finished it here.


message 10: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments True LOL!


message 11: by Milena (last edited Sep 08, 2020 10:10AM) (new)

Milena | 143 comments What a good idea to set up a thread for the quotations, Jean. Thank you for the great quotations Jean, Sara and France-Andrée. When I was reading David Copperfield, I copied some quotations, and now I’ve chosen this one to share with the group.

description

P.S. That’s my finger in the picture. I was lying on a green meadow, and that butterfly just landed on my finger.


message 12: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments That is just beautiful Milena, in every way. Thank you :)

Please just type in the box and share your others, if you like!


message 13: by France-Andrée (new)

France-Andrée (iphigenie72) | 375 comments Gorgeous pic and great quote, Milena.


message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Lovely photograph and quote, Milena. Such good luck when a butterfly lands on you.


message 15: by Milena (last edited Sep 11, 2020 10:03AM) (new)

Milena | 143 comments RULES OF LIFE ACCORDING TO AUNT BETSEY

Quotations for "Aunt Betsey's Fan Club".
Rules of life according to our favourite aunt:

1) “Never,” said my aunt, “be mean in anything; never be false, never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful for you. (quoted by Jean)

2) "It’s in vain, Trot, to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present." (quoted by Mila)

3) "Janet! Donkeys!" (quoted by Jean)

4) - Uriah Heep: There have been some changes in the office since I was an humble clerk, but I'm not changed, Miss Trotwood.
- Aunt Betsy Trotwood: I think you're pretty constant to the promise of your youth, if that's any satisfaction to you.
(quoted by Sara)



message 16: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (last edited Sep 10, 2020 02:40PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments I'm afraid the one which always springs to my mind first is the one which makes me laugh:

"Janet! Donkeys!"

But this is so endearing, it must surely be one for members of Aunt Betsey's fan club :D


message 17: by Mark (new)

Mark | 71 comments This famous Dickens quote made me laugh out loud. It's about Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby.

"He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two."


message 18: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Oh that one is priceless Mark! It's one of my personal favourites too :D


message 19: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Bionic Jean wrote: "I'm afraid the one which always springs to my mind first is the one which makes me laugh:

"Janet! Donkeys!"

But this is so endearing, it must surely be one for members of Aunt Betsey's fan club :D"


Ha ha ha Jean, I agree: donkeys, keep off aunt Betsey’s grass. Obviously I updated my message 15 above. :D


message 20: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Mark wrote: "This famous Dickens quote made me laugh out loud. It's about Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby.

"He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two.""


Oh, I remember that Mark. I love Dickens when he uses this kind of humour. It made me laugh out too!


message 21: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments OK, another one from Aunt Betsey that I marked:

Uriah Heep: There have been some changes in the office since I was an humble clerk, but I'm not changed, Miss Trotwood.

Aunt Betsy Trotwood: I think you're pretty constant to the promise of your youth, if that's any satisfaction to you.


message 22: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Sara wrote: "OK, another one from Aunt Betsey that I marked:

Uriah Heep: There have been some changes in the office since I was an humble clerk, but I'm not changed, Miss Trotwood.

Aunt Betsy Trotwood: I thin..."


Wow Sara, this is terrific! I can’t stop laughing. It goes right away to our collection :-))


message 23: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Oh I remember that one!!

Do you think if we all produced a little gift book of "Aunt Betsey's Aphorisms", it would be a good seller at Christmas? ;)


message 24: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Absolutely ha ha ha


message 25: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (last edited Sep 11, 2020 09:56AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Mila - If you like, you could put a header on your "Rules of Life" comment 15, and that would make our Aunt Betsey collection really stand out :)


message 26: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Terrific idea, Jean. I would buy one and I'd be over the moon to receive one! 😍


message 27: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Bionic Jean wrote: "Mila - If you like, you could put a header on your "Rules of Life" comment 15, and that would make our Aunt Betsey collection really stand out :)"

Excellent idea, Jean! Is the header you are thinking about something like I just did in message 15, in bold characters?


message 28: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Yes! I thought that was really clever - and eye-catching :)


message 29: by Helen (new)

Helen | 23 comments “I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” ("Great Expectations")


message 30: by France-Andrée (new)

France-Andrée (iphigenie72) | 375 comments The booklet is such a great idea, every time she speaks she says something worth remembering.

I love the Great Expectations quote too.


message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimsbooksreadingstuff) | 19 comments "what was a girl to Dombey and Son!...a bad Boy....nothing more!" Mr Dombey like Henry VIII and so many others underestimated the value of a female heir.


message 32: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Helen wrote: "“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” ("Great Expectations")"

Beautiful quotation, Helen


message 33: by Milena (new)

Milena | 143 comments Jim wrote: ""what was a girl to Dombey and Son!...a bad Boy....nothing more!" Mr Dombey like Henry VIII and so many others underestimated the value of a female heir."

(view spoiler)


message 34: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (last edited Sep 13, 2020 02:39PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Helen - that's one of the perfect romantic quotations from Charles Dickens, which just make me swoon :)

To be rapidly brought down to Earth by Jim's! Mr. Dombey's pithy comment certainly expressed his blinkered views well.

Both great quotations, thanks :)


message 35: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (last edited Oct 28, 2020 12:09PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Who has a favourite, or memorable Dickensian quotation to share?


message 36: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments It is 11am in Charles Dickens home country, on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November 2020.



Here is an apt quotation by him:

"Violent deeds live after men upon the earth, and traces of war and bloodshed will survive in mournful shapes long after those who worked the desolation are but atoms of earth themselves."

~ The Old Curiosity Shop


message 37: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Beautiful quotation and so much truth! I can look back and see how war has changed the direction of all our lives, not only in the political sphere, but mainly in the absence of some of the very best of men, who had so much to contribute, but were left early upon a battlefield.


message 38: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (insidiousrex) | 12 comments My favorite passage is too long to write out in full (several paragraphs! Classic Dickens) but it's this soul-rending reflection from, "A Tale of Two Cities":
"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. ....it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life’s end."


message 39: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments Amazing quotation :) Here it is Lauren:

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?”

Charles Dickens -A Tale of Two Cities


message 40: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (insidiousrex) | 12 comments Yes, it's beautiful and chilling. Such a haunting passage.


message 41: by Sara (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 871 comments Very poignant, and I suspect more and more apt for us as we age and part with so many that we loved and can only realize we still never knew well enough.


message 42: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (insidiousrex) | 12 comments You're so right. It's the kind of quote we can come back to over and over again.


message 43: by Cozy_Pug (new)

Cozy_Pug | 547 comments There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens


message 44: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments A favourite of mine too, Cozy-Pug. It always seems relevant, and sometimes I have it as my cover pic on Facebook! Thank you :)


message 45: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Clark | 253 comments "Ah, Miss Harriet, it would do us no harm to remember oftener than we do, that vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess! His pride shows well in this"
Dombey and Son


message 46: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments That's quite profound Jenny. It struck me so, when we read it :)


message 47: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Clark | 253 comments It really stuck out to me when I read it, and is quute true sometimes.


message 48: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments On our final day of reading Dombey and Son, has anyone got some memorable quotations from it to share?


message 49: by Cozy_Pug (new)

Cozy_Pug | 547 comments ‘If you will take me for your wife, Walter, I will love you dearly. If you will let me go with you, Walter, I will go to the world’s end without fear. I can give up nothing for you—I have nothing to resign, and no one to forsake; but all my love and life shall be devoted to you, and with my last breath I will breathe your name to God if I have sense and memory left.’

Florence says this to Walter, and I think it's one of the most beautiful declarations of love I've ever read.


message 50: by Bionic Jean, "Dickens Duchess" (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) | 3966 comments I agree Cozy_Pug, it does just make you melt :) And I'm off back to our group read thread, as something has now occurred to me!


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