"Young Charles Dickens Reading; Stoking the Fire of Imagination, ages 5-9, 1817-1821"
© Marilyn Papas
I chose to illustrate how Dickens' father's fine taste in books influenced his future interests. He was inspired to travel to Italy and look into the crater of Vesuvius. He would include a three year tour of Europe for David in "David Copperfield", when his ill young wife, Dora died. "David Copperfield" was thought to be his most autobigraphical book.
"Young Dickens Working at Warren's Factory, ages 12-13, 1824-1825"
© Marilyn Papas
I chose to show how even though this was the most miserable year of Dickens' life, if he could've looked into a crystal ball and seen his future, it wouldn't have been so bad at Warren's Factory. He would've been able to endure his 10 hour work days gluing labels on to pots of boot black (shoe polish) in the rat infested falling down factory on the Thames. I show that he would he would wear "many hats" in his future and as a famous author someday, he would include this experience in a book called "David Copperfield". In the crystal ball, I show young David working at his evil stepfather's wine bottling factory in London. Mr. McCawber, (based on Dickens own father) his land lord and friend, is giving him wordly advice.
"A Future Author Meets Her Idol: Kate Douglas Wiggin Meets Dickens on a Train, 1868"© Marilyn Papas
I wanted to show a very warm, and charming moment in a wonderfully entertaining conversation 56 year old Dickens had with Kate Smith, age 12, on the train from a reading he gave in Portland, Maine on his way back to Boston in March 1868. They both loved "David Copperfield" the best; she read it six times except for the long boring parts. Dickens laughed and took out a journal to jot down exactly what they were. She would go on to become an author of 19 books including "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" in 1903 and "A Child's Journey With Dickens" in 1912.