Little Dorrit Summer Excerpts (#DickensChallenge Ends June 13th, 2021)

It is Wednesday and that means it is time for the  Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge

The theme this week is “summer” and because today is Jne 9th, the day that Charles Dickens died back in 1870 – I wanted to feature quotes (excerpts) from Dickens’ Little Dorrit – and also invite folks to join in on the #Dickenschallenge.

First – the snippets from the book (here) that connect to SUMMER: 

“It was a hot summer day, and the prison rooms were baking between the high walls. In the debtor’s confined chamber, Mrs Bangham, charwoman and messenger, who was not a prisoner (though she had been once), but was the popular medium of communication with the outer world, had volunteered her services as fly-catcher and general attendant. The walls and ceiling were blackened with flies. Mrs Bangham, expert in sudden device, with one hand fanned the patient with a cabbage leaf, and with the other set traps of vinegar and sugar in gallipots; at the same time enunciating sentiments of an encouraging and congratulatory nature, adapted to the occasion.”


“This was Mr Meagles’s invariable habit. Always to object to everything while he was travelling, and always to want to get back to it when he was not travelling.

‘If it was summer-time,’ said Mr Meagles, ‘which I wish it was on your account, and in order that you might see the place at its best, you would hardly be able to hear yourself speak for birds. Being practical people, we never allow anybody to scare the birds; and the birds, being practical people too, come about us in myriads. We are delighted to see you, Clennam (if you’ll allow me, I shall drop the Mister); I heartily assure you, we are delighted.’

‘I have not had so pleasant a greeting,’ said Clennam—then he recalled what Little Dorrit had said to him in his own room, and faithfully added ‘except once—since we last walked to and fro, looking down at the Mediterranean.’

‘Ah!’ returned Mr Meagles. ‘Something like a look out, that was, wasn’t it? I don’t want a military government, but I shouldn’t mind a little allonging and marshonging—just a dash of it—in this neighbourhood sometimes. It’s Devilish still.’”

Now last quote/excerpt gives us a feel for Dickens’ masterful ability to bring us RIGHT INTO a setting – ahhhhh

“A tranquil summer sunset shone upon him as he approached the end of his walk, and passed through the meadows by the river side. He had that sense of peace, and of being lightened of a weight of care, which country quiet awakens in the breasts of dwellers in towns. Everything within his view was lovely and placid. The rich foliage of the trees, the luxuriant grass diversified with wild flowers, the little green islands in the river, the beds of rushes, the water-lilies floating on the surface of the stream, the distant voices in boats borne musically towards him on the ripple of the water and the evening air, were all expressive of rest. In the occasional leap of a fish, or dip of an oar, or twittering of a bird not yet at roost, or distant barking of a dog, or lowing of a cow—in all such sounds, there was the prevailing breath of rest, which seemed to encompass him in every scent that sweetened the fragrant air. The long lines of red and gold in the sky, and the glorious track of the descending sun, were all divinely calm. Upon the purple tree-tops far away, and on the green height near at hand up which the shades were slowly creeping, there was an equal hush. Between the real landscape and its shadow in the water, there was no division; both were so untroubled and clear, and, while so fraught with solemn mystery of life and death, so hopefully reassuring to the gazer’s soothed heart, because so tenderly and mercifully beautiful.

Clennam had stopped, not for the first time by many times, to look about him and suffer what he saw to sink into his soul, as the shadows, looked at, seemed to sink deeper and deeper into the water. He was slowly resuming his way, when he saw a figure in the path before him which he had, perhaps, already associated with the evening and its impressions.”

Part 2: Reminder: #Dickenschallenge ends next weekend. 

If you can join, Trent will be raffling off a $25.00 Amazon gift card for one lucky contributor. 


  • If you want to read (or skim) the book Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, then share a post about it on or around June 9th, which is the date of Dickens’ death.  The last day to join is Sunday June 13th.
  • If you want a free e-copy of this book – go here to Gutenberg Press 
  • If you do “not” want to post about it, you can also join us by commenting on any of the Little Dorrit posts – like this post today or over at Trent’s Little Dorrit post here or Trent’s post recent here
  • If you CAN join us – use the hashtag #Dickenschallenge and have your post out by June 13th.  
  • AfterJune 13th, 2021 – we will announce the gift card winner and Trent and I will both post about the challenge on our blogs. 

The Little Dorrit reading challenge started on February 7th (Dickens’ birthday) and so far we have had a few readers already add some fun comments.  We have also had Derrick Knight posting numerous Charles Keeping’s illustrations for the book (eight of them are here ) – and folks – this reminds me that the sum of many parts can make things come to life!  It can be  a lot of fun to explore a book together – and this lesser-known classic from Dickens has some fun takeaways that can leave each of us with insight and enrichment.  So remember – even if the gift card is not an enticement – the sharing is what it is all about  – but the gift card is fun too – and “you gotta be in it to win it” hahahah 

little dorrit - derrick knight - image

Derrick noted this about the old house drawing: 

For ‘The old house collapsed and fell’, the artist had no need to draw the building – he simply produced the effect.


Here are some closing photos to wind down this post – 🙂 

That abstract photo is a face whispering,  “Join the Dickens challenge, Join the challenge….”

and a comic – just for fun…

w-d 40 old product info


Care to join in with #WQWWC? Go here and the June themes are below: 

  • June 9: Summer
  • June 16: Heat
  • June 23: Vacation
  • June 30: Freedom







12 thoughts on “Little Dorrit Summer Excerpts (#DickensChallenge Ends June 13th, 2021)

    1. hi Tina – i am not sure if it is real – i found it with some old war poster images and it does seem a little “spoof-like”
      and putting that aside – i sure do love WD 40!


  1. Little Dorrit indeed. Such a wonderful English. You don’t really hear such an English nowadays. It might be a crime to read in French don’t you think?
    (Buying time…)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you are so right about the English here- really good point and not a crime to read in French but might change it a bit –
    like recently we read an old proverb treat talked about rolling dice – but the original language said “casting lots” – and we chuckled a bit because dice felt so different from “lots”


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