Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! (Bleak House Challenge)

HI Readers, Today (Feb 7th) is author Charles Dickens birthday.

Trent and I were discussing the Charles Dickens book challenge we did last year – we read Little Dorrit and invited others to join us – it was so much fun.
It was a highlight of my year because the enrichment from reading a book with some blog friends, a very informal activity, was a nice lift! 


We thought it would be good fun if others joined us while reading Bleak House sometime this spring. 

If you want to read the Bleak House book and then share a post about it, on or around June 9, which is the date of Dickens’ death – please join us. You can also read it and just join in the June posts that we make – Because we are also raffling off another Amazon gift card this year and will pull names from all who participate!

Trent’s 2022 post is here 

Use this hashtag if you join: #Dickenschallenge

if you want a free copy of the e-book – Gutenberg has it here:


Need more incentive to join in? If you are a writer, you know that reading other authors can help you grow and give you ideas. Even if you are not a writer, everyone can benefit from human stories – and all the more when we read from such a special author like Charles Dickens. He was an author that honed his craft (meaning he became masterful with his words and story elements – raw talent and gifts combined with labor). His social intelligence, advocator side, and deep understanding of human behavior is what floods the pages when he develops characters and gives the reader much to enjoy and grow with.

Dickens has inspired me as his characters come to life because they are infused by traits from people he has met in the course of life.
The courts and legal system and domestic fiction of Bleak House can be quite a journey to go on!  We are given deep insights about the courts of the day along with sub plots as this was released in a series of 20 installments from 1852-1854.

Also – please know this story is not all bleak and heavy! It is a story about social class and personal circumstance. It is a story about the courts, family, and choice with all the richness of mid 1800 life amidst a foggy London setting.

Links for more Dickens

1) Go here for an old Priorhouse Post with a snippet from A Christmas Carol

2) Delancey Place (here) has featured Dickens many times, and this one here  is great 

3) This blog here has a current Great expectations weekly read-a-lo

birthday taco with candle

4) A student tribute blog to Dickens is here

5) This blog here has some nice posts on the Victorian Era social problems and the book Bleak House (1853).

6) Podcast here from the online reading group Defining Digital Dickens. I think this could have used some editing, but I guess this is how podcasts are – raw and unedited? But it is just fun to know that there was a study group of bloggers and critics exploring Dickens’s last completed novel, ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

7) 12 facts about Dickens at this blog here – with this fact #3 relating to Little Dorrit

8) On Dickens’ b-day in 2013, this blog here shared about the doggy gift for Dickens.

9) Linda (here) shared that her friend and fellow blogger, Joni, has written about Dickens’ a few times and here is one of the posts: https://thehomeplaceweb.com/2019/12/12/the-literary-salon-the-manwho-invented-christmas/

10) Last year’s June posts for Little Dorrit challenge:

Trent: https://trentsworld.blog/2021/06/14/final-thoughts-on-little-dorrit/

Prior: https://priorhouse.blog/2021/06/14/little-dorrit-recap-dickenschallenge-2021/

11) Shout Out to the awesome Derrick Knight who shared so much Dickens last year – like this one:


12) Retirement Reflections had a great post about A Christmas Carol (here) with Ten Reasons to Love a Christmas Carol




Have you already read Bleak House? Or have you seen a movie rendition of it?
Care to join us?







55 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! (Bleak House Challenge)

        1. I get my audiobooks from the Apple bookstore so I assume I found it there. I’ve started another book now – one about writing ‘First You Write a Sentence’. I’m enjoying it so far.


      1. I would love to if I can understand and do what is required. If it involves writing that is hard for me to do. I am a slow reader because I can only read for 10-20 minutes a day at night in bed. I’ve been reading Icelandic Sagas for 6 months.
        What are the rules?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi – I know you said you figured it out but a reminder that it is very informal and you can participate as little or as much as works for you!
          And your saga series sounds interesting


    1. I bet he is looking down smiling – wait – he is probably on a long walk looking down and walking with you health coach Cindy! I heard dickens walked a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi G! That volume sounds like a good purchase – and dickens is an author worth reading again –
      Hope you can join us in June for the discussion if you happen to read Bleak House

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Didn’t know it was Dickens birthday. I love Project Gutenberg. I visit there often. It has not only out-of-copyright books but old books on topics most people aren’t reading. For me, that was studies of primitive tribes before they mostly became extinct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – I didn’t realize they also had out of print books – and I bet some of the selections you found helped with your prehistoric fiction writing – very cool. And I think Google is doing some kind of enormous book project ? Trying to digitize as many books as possible or something like that ….
      anyhow / cheers to the 50 years of Gutenberg Project

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bleak House is one of the Dickens novels I haven’t read, but the BBC did a very good serialisation of it a few years back. Recommended, if you can find it over there. Interesting that the original publication was stretched out over such a long period – I’m guessing many of those who started it weren’t around at the finish 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ho Clive – I have seen two versions of Bleak Hoise but it has been so long! Do not recall much of it or who produced it – but do recall liking the ending. So I am glad to ne reading this one from
      Dickens for the 2022 challenge –

      And I love most things from the BBC and will see if I can find it

      And it was stretched out a while – but I edited my post because I had 29 and think it was only 20 and it was about six months (end of 52 and start of 53?? Need to double check
      Thanks for the comment and see you tomorrow for some jams 🎶

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them. It’s not my normal reading matter so I may not be joining you for the challenge but I hope it goes well for you.

        My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek: you’ve probably edited it now but when I read the piece it said the book was serialised from 1852 to 1953 – a long time by anyone’s reckoning!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi JT! Thanks for the reminder about the courts – I just added it in to my edited description – and hope you can join us with the discussion in June 😉


  3. Dickens is my favorite author! I read Bleak House a few years ago before I appreciated Dickens as much as I do now. I’ve been wanting to reread Bleak House and would love to join in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda – well I would say wait to read Bksak House because eit is very long – but maybe make it your aim to read A Christmas Carol this year because it is really short – novella – and moves quick – you could maybe cover it in one afternoon ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, I will do that Yvette and did you know “A Christmas Carol” is online – I don’t even need to buy it? I’ll send you the link in a separate comment.


        1. Hi Linda, – thanks so very much – and maybe some other readers will also need the link you shared.
          I am only a few chapters into the book but I am LIKING it so much

          Liked by 1 person

        2. You’re welcome Yvette. A fellow blogger once asked if I read “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman and I found it on Project Gutenberg as well.


  4. Yvette, I had no idea about Charles Dickens tough early family life and how it was formative in his work – a huge oversight on my part, I know! Only last year a fellow blogger encouraged me to read A Christmas Carol and wow, it was terrific and I realise I am missing out! I’m keen to read Bleak House and will make a note to share! A great and informative post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – so happy you enjoyed A Christmas Carol and nice that a blog friend encouraged it
      And so glad you might be able to read bleak house and look forward to your take
      — I just read a Gandhi if pages and already completely enjoyed the little intro that noted how the fog was everywhere – dramatic and a bit humorous – and brought us right into the scene
      Okay – hope you are having a nice start to February 🐡

      Liked by 1 person

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