Charles Dickens is the ultimate Victorian novelist. His books are classics, which changed literature for the better. The nineteenth century novelist had a way of capturing the heart and engaging the mind with tales, which had a way of moving the reader in a way which previously didn't exist.
Words upon words
I've rounded up my favourite Dickens' novels, some of which I read during my childhood, and others during my years at university. Either way, they're brilliant, and perfect for this time of year, when the autumnal weather keeps you indoors, cradling a hot drink, and most likely, a book.
1. A Christmas Carol (Penguin, £5.99) With four weeks until Christmas, now's the time to read this tale of bitter Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns the true meaning of Christmas after being haunted by his dead business partner and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Dickens wrote the novel in the weeks leading up to Christmas 1843.
2. David Copperfield (Penguin, £5.99) This partly autobiographical novel is believed to have been Dickens' favourite. He said of it: "I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield." The book follows David's life from childhood to adulthood and there's a classic line-up of characters including David's unusual great aunt, Betsey Trotwood, and cruel stepfather Edward Murdstone.
3. Bleak House (Penguin, £5.99) There are some excellent character names in this one: Caddy Jellyby, Prince Turveydrop, Mr Tulkinghorn. Also this delightful sentence from the opening paragraph: "As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill."
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
4. The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Penguin, £5.99) Dickens' final novel was left unfinished when he died in 1870, following a stroke. This means readers have been left to puzzle over the mystery of who exactly murdered Edwin Drood. The prime suspect is his opium addict uncle, John Jasper.
Cheaper, second hand copies of each book can be found on Amazon, but there are equally more luxe copies, which have iconic covers, and are available in hardback.