I am enticed to read this book when visiting Dickens Museum in London. I rambled along the Nursery Room on the third floor, which is transformed into a comprehensive feature of stories and antiques covering Dicken’s youth. I peeked into one of the capacities exhibiting A Family Bible belonging to Dickens, The Life of Our Lord, as well as a lace bookmark and a golden brooch. In the captions it says about Dickens and his religious views of being a Protestant. Seems like this book could get me improve my relationship with Dickens and know more about his family life. Of this timely occasion after I went back to Hong Kong I saw it being available in my local library, and I venture to borrow it in thrills!
This book is not meant to be published at Dickens’s will; this manuscript was in the hands of Georgina Hogwarth (Catherine’s younger sister, closer to Dickens during his affair with Nelly Ternan) after his demise until her death in 1917, and finally was published 64 years later after his death when all his children passed away.
It is suitable for children made for an easy-reading purpose (stocked in children library in my local one’s), and is divided into 11 chapters, told from the birth of Jesus until his resurrection. It seems like Dickens wants his children to get familiarised with some words provided with definitions in his word words, for example, “the Miracle of Christ”, “Our Saviour”, “Transfiguration”, “The Parables of Our Saviour” (“He taught His Disciples in these stories, because He knew the people liked to hear them, and would remember what He said better, if He said it in that way. They are called Parable – THE PARABLES OF OUR CHRIST – and I wish you to remember that word, as I shall have some more of these Parables to tell you about.”) The Parables parts are the ones I enjoy the most, for instance, The Parable of the Prodigal Son. I did religious studies in secondary school, but I have forgotten the stories already, so it is quite beneficial to ring the bells again in an easy way. Thanks Dickens.
I am not familiar with the Bible so it is not for me to comment on whether Dickens has retold the stories and presented the life of Jesus in the most righteous and fairest way; but here Dickens tries his utmost to inculcate Christian values and virtue to his children through Jesus’s major anecdotes and stories taken out from the New Testament in the Bible, which reflects his spiritual and religious facade. From this reading we can see a more intimate side of his as well. It only consists of 93 pages and is a pocket-sized, so it is definitely an easy read, and interesting to pick this up.