"An idea, like a ghost ... must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself."
Feb. 7, 2012, marks the bicentenary of the birth of great English author Charles Dickens. Nicknamed “The Inimitable,” Dickens fused artistry with humanity to create a body of work as entertaining as it is edifying. In his novels and other writings, Dickens deftly skewered the venality of the rich, depicted with great pathos the wretched lives of the poor, and canvassed such diverse themes as the need for educational reform, the triumph of love over ego, the destructive capacity of guilt, and the value of communal ties. No handful of quotes can entirely encapsulate the genius of Dickens, but below are a few that we feel do a fair job of showcasing the novelist’s unmatched wisdom and powers of expression.