Posts Tagged ‘Poet’s Corner’

Dickens: In the Poet’s Corner

January 7, 2009
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

The death of Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens, the great novelist, died at his residence at Gad’s Hill, near London, at 6:15 on the evening of the 9th, of paralysis. He was fifty-eight years of age. He was apparently in good health on the 8th, when he wrote several pages of his novel, “Edwin Drood.”  The suddenness of the blow intensifies the grief of his friends. There were unusual demonstrations of public grief in London and other cities.

A cable dispatch of the 10th says the number of lives lost in the recent conflagration in Constantinople can be safely set down at 1,000.

Queen Victoria, immediately after the intelligence of Mr. Dickens’ death was communicated at court, dispatched a special messenger of condolence to the sorrowing members of the family of the deceased author. The public institutions in the city suspended business immediately after hearing of the melancholy event. In his will Mr. Dickens leaves All the Year Round to his son, with many valuable suggestions about its management.

St Joseph Herald (Saint Joseph, Michigan) Jun 18, 1870

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The death of Charles Dickens comes like  a flash of fatal lightning, startling and blinding us all. The hearty, jovial, middle-aged gentleman who stood among us only two short years ago, in apparent health and strength, was the last of whom we should have expected to hear the sudden decease. He passed away quickly, and without pain, probably as he would have chosen, had he the power of choice. Struck down among his friends, at one of those social occasions he is so apt at describing, without the anxiety of a wearing illness, or any failure of his faculties. Like Thackeray, and like Hawthorne, he leaves his work unfinished, but for all that he has left complete behind him, the world is rich indeed. No other writer of the English language has so many, and such admiring readers and no other has so persistently kept his pen from advocating wrong or vice, and so diligently worked the good and the noble in human nature. Dickens was the writer of the people, and two worlds lay their tribute of sorrow upon the new tomb in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) June 18, 1870

Charles Dickens Gravemarker

Charles Dickens Gravemarker

The London Times, speaking of the death of Mr. Dickens, employs these eulogistic words, “The ordinary expressions of regret are not cold and conventional. Millions of people feel it as a personal bereavement. Statesmen, savens and benefactors of the race, when they die, can leave no such void. They cannot, like this great novelist, have been an inmate of every house.”

The remains of Charles Dickens were deposited in the poet’s corner at Westminster Abbey, on the 14th. They were placed at the foot of Handel, and head of Sheridan, with Macauley and Cumberland on either side. The usual flowers were strewn upon the bier. Dean Stanley read the burial service, and the coffin was deposited in its final resting place. Upon the coffin plate were inscribed the words: “Charles Dickens. Born February 7, 1812; died June 9, 1870.”

St Joseph Herald (Saint Joseph, Michigan) June 25, 1870