Charles Dickens is still one of the most famous writers that humanity has ever produced. This Victorian era writer may have been born over 200 years ago, yet his influence is still felt today. Appearances were important to Dickens. Not only was he concerned about the impressions that people would have about his literature, he was concerned about how people would perceive him visually. You could always find him looking in a mirror and combing his hair to make sure he looked is best. Here are some other fun facts about Charles Dickens.
1. He Believed in Mental Powers
Charles Dickens believed in the power of the mind. In particular, he believed in what is called mesmerism. This is healing that can occur through the act of hypnotism. Dickens would often practice his own hypnotism skills on his wife and his children when they were sick so that they could be healed. Part of this is emphasis in mental powers is probably because of his own epilepsy that affected throughout his entire life. This is also why many of his characters tend to be epileptics.
2. The Power of the North Star
When Charles Dickens would write, he would only do so if he had spent the night before sleeping while facing north. Why? Because he felt that sleeping while facing north gave him more creativity. To make sure that he was always sleeping in the right direction, he would carry a compass with him so that he could move hotel beds around while traveling so that he was in the proper position at all times.
3. It’s a Curse
Dickens is actually a word that Shakespeare made up for one of his plays. It’s a curse word that refers to the devil. If you are cursed by the Dickens, then you are actually cursed by the devil. When we say “What the Dickens?” today, we’re really saying, “What the devil?” Think of it like the words “heck,” “darn,” “dang,” or “chicken feathers.” It’s really just the substitute.
4. It’s a Lucky Touch
Charles Dickens was a superstitious fellow. He believed in the paranormal and has been linked to investigation groups that were based out of London. Part of his superstition was that he believed that he could control his own luck. This is why you would often see him touching things three times. This wasn’t the only quirk of his personality. His favorite letter opener, for example, was made from the claws of one of his favorite cats.