Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Charles Dickens: Facts

Below are some facts about our Featured Author of the week Charles Dickens.
  1. His name "Dickens" was a curse, possibly invented by Shakespeare. 
  2. He may have saved multiple lives of friends and strangers after a train crash.
  3. He helped create a home for "fallen women."
  4. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwind Drood, remains a mystery.
  5. Dickens' father was imprisoned for debt and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in factory to help support the family.
  6. Dickens’ story The Signal Man is partly derived from personal experience. In 1865 Dickens was involved in the famed Staplehurst rail crash in which seven train carriages toppled off a bridge that was under repair. Dickens narrowly avoided catastrophe as his own car was the first to be spared once the train finally stopped, however the incident scarred him mentally.
  7. Dickens was keenly interested in the paranormal, and has even been linked to the famous paranormal investigation group “The Ghost Club” of London. 
  8. Dickens kept a pet raven named Grip, which he had stuffed when it died in 1841.
  9. He was an obsessive compulsive, reportedly always re-arranging his hotel furniture and having to sleep with his head pointing north.
  10. Dickens gave every one of his ten children nicknames like “Skittles” and “Plorn.”
  11. Hans Christian Andersen became a good friend of Dickens and in 1857 visited his family, for five weeks. The visit ended with Dickens writing on the guest room mirror “Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks which seemed to the family AGES!”
  12. In Boston, thousands of people gathered at the dock to await the ship that carried chapter 71 of Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop. When the ship arrived, they asked the captain about a beloved character from the novel: “Is Nell dead?” When the affirmative response came back, a collective groan rose up from the massive crowd.
  13. He was an advocate of hypnotism and attempted to use it to cure his wife and children of ailments.
  14. In his study, he had a secret door which was designed like a bookcase filled with fake books rumored to include titles like Noah’s Arkitecture and a nine-volume set titled Cat’s Lives.

Monday, December 10, 2018

What the Dickens?

This week our Featured Author is Charles Dickens. Below is a profile for Mr. Dickens. Checkout our online catalog for more books by Charles Dickens.


Name: Charles Dickens

Occupation: Author

Date of Birth: February 7, 1812

Date of Death: June 9, 1870

Place of Birth: Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

Place of Death: Higham, Kent, United Kingdom

Famous Works:
Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 to June 9, 1870) was a British novelist, journalist, editor, illustrator and social commentator who wrote such beloved classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Dickens is remembered as one of the most important and influential writers of the 19th century. Among his accomplishments, he has been lauded for providing a stark portrait of the Victorian era underclass, helping to bring about societal change. When Dickens died of a stroke, he left his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Stephen King on Childhood

Below is a video that Blank on Blank did where Stephen King talks about childhood.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Stephen King: Facts and Quotes

Below are some facts and quotes about our Featured Author Stephen King.

  1. He and his wife, Tabitha, own a radio station.
  2. He's a hardcore Red Sox fan.
  3. He was hit by a car, then bought the car that hit him.
  4. As a kid, his friend was struck and killed by a train.
  5. He wrote a musical with John Mellencamp.
  6. He played in a band with other successful authors.
  7. He's a naive Mainer.
  8. He has battled drug and alcohol problems.
  9. There was rumor that he wrote a Lost tie-in novel.
  10. He is surrounded by writers.

 "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool."
"We make up horrors to help us cope with real ones."

Monday, December 3, 2018

Featured Author: Stephen King

Our Featured Author of the week is Stephen King. Check out our Featured Author section on our online catalog for a list of print and electronic books the library has in its collection.


Name: Stephen King
Occupation: Author
Date of Birth: September 21, 1947
Education: Durham Elementary, Lisbon Falls High School, and University of Maine
Place of Birth: Portland, Maine
Pseudonym(s): John Swithen and Richard Bachman
Famous Works: 
  • Carrie
  • The Green Mile series
  • The Dark Tower series
  • IT
  • The Shining
  • For a list of more of his works, click here.
Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of the elderly couple. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

For more information about our Featured Author, click here.