Today, 7 February, is Charles Dickens's 200th birthday. He was and continues to be my inspiration. Every year I reread at least one of his books, for the sheer fun of it as well as the re-setting of impossibly high standards. No matter how many times I reread his stories, I always discover something new. This was a writer who could give a chair a personality.
He inspired my love of English history and taught me to love a city I'd never seen—London—and set off that writer's itch that keeps me going and enriches my travels and makes me endlessly curious about the past, especially the world he grew up in and lived in and wrote about.
I am not sure I would have written a single novel, if not for him.
Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for all you've given us & all you've given me.
And a very Happy Birthday to you, wherever you are.