Charles Dickens Quotations Archive.

Hard and sharp as flint.

Background. "Hard and sharp as flint." is a quotation from A Christmas Carol (Stave 1). A Christmas Carol is a novella, or short story, written by Charles Dickens and first published in the Christmas of 1843.   Illustration from the original publication of A Christmas Carol showing Ebenezer Scrooge (left), here being visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley. Context. The quote is from a paragraph describing Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of A [...]

2018-08-21T14:42:46+00:00Categories: A Christmas Carol|

Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery.

Background. "Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery." is a quotation from A Christmas Carol (Stave 4). A Christmas Carol is a novella, or short story, written by Charles Dickens and first published in the Christmas of 1843.   Context. This quote is a description of the alleyways where the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come [...]

In the mass of white and upturned faces, the dying wretch, in his all-comprehensive look of agony, has met not one—not one—that bore the impress of pity or compassion.

Background. "In the mass of white and upturned faces, the dying wretch, in his all-comprehensive look of agony, has met not one—not one—that bore the impress of pity or compassion." is a quotation from Nicholas Nickleby (Chapter 4). The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, more commonly referred to as Nicholas Nickleby, is the third novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised between 1838 and 1839.   Context. Description of an executed person at Newgate. Taken from the following passage in Chapter [...]

2018-08-16T13:04:53+00:00Categories: Nicholas Nickleby|Tags: , , |

A man may call his house an island if he likes; there’s no act of Parliament against that, I believe?

Background. "A man may call his house an island if he likes; there’s no act of Parliament against that, I believe?" is a quotation from Nicholas Nickleby (Chapter 7). The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, more commonly referred to as Nicholas Nickleby, is the third novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised between 1838 and 1839.   Context. Quotation said by Wackford Squeers, the cruel schoolmaster who runs Dotheboys Hall. Taken from the following passage in Chapter 7 of Nicholas Nickleby: [...]

2018-08-16T20:00:54+00:00Categories: Nicholas Nickleby|Tags: |

When the young curate was popular, and all the unmarried ladies in the parish took a serious turn, the charity children all at once became objects of peculiar and especial interest.

Background. "When the young curate was popular, and all the unmarried ladies in the parish took a serious turn, the charity children all at once became objects of peculiar and especial interest." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Our Parish, Chapter 6 (The Ladies’ Societies). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Taken from the following passage in The Ladies’ Societies: We should be [...]

2018-08-16T13:05:18+00:00Categories: Sketches by Boz|Tags: |

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a little patronage is more so.

Background. "A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a little patronage is more so." is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Our Parish, Chapter 6 (The Ladies’ Societies). Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.   Context. Taken from the following passage in The Ladies’ Societies: A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a little patronage is more so; the three Miss Browns appointed all [...]

2018-08-17T09:44:11+00:00Categories: Sketches by Boz|Tags: |

My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things.

Background. "My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things." is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 1). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said the character Pip, as narrator, at the beginning of Great Expectations. Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations in the first person, seen from Pip's point of view of his life. The novel is a Bildungsroman, a German term for an education or self-development novel. [...]

2018-08-11T16:27:35+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!

Background. "Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!" is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 1). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said the character Abel Magwitch to Pip at the beginning of Great Expectations. Pip has stumbled upon the escaped convict Magwitch whilst visiting the graves of his family in the local churchyard.  Magwitch startles Pip, and threatens him as seen here. Despite being scared by [...]

2018-08-11T16:18:46+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!

Background. "Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!" is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 12). Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel first published between 1860 and 1861.   Context. Quotation said by Miss Havisham to Estella. Miss Havisham is a wealthy spinster who was jilted at the altar. She lives in a ruined mansion with her adopted daughter, Estella, whom she brings up to hate men and break their hearts, just [...]

2018-08-11T15:06:52+00:00Categories: Great Expectations|Tags: |

In the name of wonder, idleness, and folly!

Background. "In the name of wonder, idleness, and folly!" is a quotation from Hard Times (Book 1, Chapter 3). Hard Times - For These Times (more commonly now known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854.   Context. Quotation by the character Thomas Gradgrind. Whilst walking home, Thomas Gradgrind passes the circus, where he finds his two oldest children, Louisa and Thomas, watching it. He rebukes them, seen here in this quotation. Gradgrind [...]

2018-08-04T20:49:54+00:00Categories: Hard Times|Tags: |