|Charles Dickens. International Policy Digest|
|Catherine Dickens |
c.1847 by Daniel Maclise Wikipedia
An obvious case in point is his famous work ''Oliver Twist'', first published in a serial form between 1837 and 1839. In this work his racist bent of mind comes to the brim. The portrayal of Fagin, a Jewish character who ran a school for the pickpockets in London, is seen by many as deeply antisemitic. Normally, the ethnicity of the fictional characters is never mentioned by great workers of repute because the personality of the character is more important than his religion or ethnic background. Believe it or not, the famous novel refers to Fagin 257 times in the first 38 chapters as "the Jew" According to Nadia Valdman, who specializes on the portrayal of Jews in literature, 'Fagin's characterization was drawn from the image of the Jew as inherently evil, that the imagery associated him with the Devil, and with beasts''.
|Charles Dickens. me.me|
|1857 the great Indian rellion Alamy|
Dickens in a letter to Emile de la Rue on 23 October 1857, about the so-called Indian Mutiny of 1857 : “I wish I were Commander in Chief over there [ India ]! I would address that Oriental character which must be powerfully spoken to, in something like the following placard, which should be vigorously translated into all native dialects, “I, The Inimitable, holding this office of mine, and firmly believing that I hold it by the permission of Heaven and not by the appointment of Satan, have the honor to inform you Hindoo gentry that it is my intention, with all possible avoidance of unnecessary cruelty and with all merciful swiftness of execution, to exterminate the Race from the face of the earth, which disfigured the earth with the late abominable atrocities [2,000 British killed in the 1857 Indian War of Independence - Indian Mutiny] (see Grace Moore (2004), “Dickens and the Empire. Discourses of class, race, and colonialism in the works of Charles Dickens”
(Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot , UK ).
Dickens had no idea under company rule to what extant the Indian subcontinent had been squandered and the natural resources exploited by the British Bobs to scale up the British economy. Nor was he aware of how many thousands of revolting Indian soldiers and innocent Pundits were killed by some maniac East India company military men. Countless Indian soldiers were blown before the powerful cannons. The British Crown finally stepped in to save their neck and the colony so that they could loot and keep filling the coffer as much as they could before leaving India for good in the future.
As for Dickens' relationship with his wife, a recent article by one Palko Karasz (vide: ''The Hindu'' dated 25 February 2018 (''Dickens tried to send his wife to asylum, letters show'') is an interesting one. Dickens' separation from his wife was never revealed to the public and he was very particular about keeping it as a secret. More damaging and unethical act was he wanted his wife imprisoned for good in an asylum. Considered as the ''more damning account of Dickens' behavior than others'', the revelation came from one John Bowen, professor of 19th century English literature at the university of York in north England whose article appeared in the ''Times' Literary Supplement'' published recently. The analysis was made based on the letters kept at Harvard University, USA.
Dickens never wanted the dark side of his life exposed as this would damage his reputation, social status and legacy. So what he did was he burned almost all the letters; However, scholars and biographers, driven by curiosity, wanted to go deep into his private life and toiled to bring out the truth about Dickens and his relationship with other women. Ms. Catherine never mentioned about her separation from Dickens and, at last, 10 years later after Dickens' death, she confided in Edward Dutton cook, a theater critic and her neighbor in Camden, North London. Dutton wrote as many as 98 letters about Dickens and his lousy treatment of his wife. The Harvard University (Houghton library) got the letters written by Dutton through auction in 1984.
The letters written by Dutton to his friend, a journalist bring to light the mean and maniac character of a man who strode the English literary world like a giant. He made a vein attempt to send his wife to the asylum as he had no proof. Dutton in his letter pointed out that Dickens lost interest in his wife as she grew old and became unattractive. How could Dickens expect his wife, a mother of 10 children, to remain ever charming and beautiful while wilting under age. His racism and the treatment of his wife will ever remain a blot on this weird literary wizard in the English language.