Dickens’ Chamber of Horrors, Part 2

Dear Charlie,

After unearthing some truly disturbing likenesses of your characters last month, I felt it only fair to see what kind of shiver-inducing articles I could dig up out there that bear your own likeness. Being the beloved cultural icon that you are, this wasn’t difficult.

Interestingly, everyone seems to love you with a beard, even though you didn’t sport one until relatively late in your literary career. Turns out in your younger years you were quite the trendsetter.

Before we trot out these monstrosities, I think it behooves us to remind ourselves of your very UN-horrific face:


Hello there, handsome.

And now to the terrible, terrible things that (probably) well-meaning people have done to you.

I apologize in advance to anyone who owns or created these things, but mostly I apologize to you, Charlie, for being depicted in such unflattering ways.

Let’s start with something festive. And what could be more festive than a Charles Dickens nutcracker:


Because nothing says “Charles Dickens” like a grizzled, bespectacled old man dressed like Colin Baker’s Doctor, who’s about to trip over his shopping while balancing the world’s largest quill pen on a tray (I’m sure you often went shopping with paper and an enormous feather pen, just in case you had a flash of inspiration). Oh! And there’s an extra book slung around its poor neck, just in case there was any doubt that this nutcracker is an author.

Wait, perhaps this is supposed to be you if you’d lived another 30 years and gone a bit senile… the ghost of Dickens yet to come?

Moving from nutcrackers to porcelain now. I hate to pick on Royal Doulton (I have, after all, started collecting their set of Dickens characters), but this jug gives me the willies:


It isn’t so much your features I object to, which are actually quite nice. Serene. It’s the goitre-like protrusions erupting from your neck. If I squint, it looks like you’re wearing an Elizabethan ruff, or are doing skinny jazz hands around your face. Mostly, though, it looks like you’re undergoing some sort of alien reproduction-through-budding process, and that’s just not right.

Coins, you might think, would be a safer bet.

Well you’d be wrong.

In this coin, Charles Dickens is very, very angry at something or someone in the middle distance. Probably the coin’s artist.


Seriously. Tell me you could see this and not feel you’ve done something deeply offensive to literature. Whatever it was, Charlie, I’m very, very sorry.


And now for the truly terrifying.

I present to you Charles Dickens, the dead-eyed, vampire dwarf:


And if that wasn’t disturbing enough to keep you up at night. His head comes off.


Yeah, you can keep your certificates of authenticity and your registration cards. This is just messed up.

After all of these terrible sights, I need a scotch.

Wait a second, that random old guy on the ad is supposed to be you? Uh huh. I think the artist asked what you looked like and was told, “look I don’t have time to find a picture. Just draw a dude with a beard.”


But who knows, maybe after a few glasses all of these things will look exactly like you.

Join me, my friend. After seeing this post you probably need it more than I do…

Affectionately and apologetically,


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