28 November 2011

A Hankering After Ghosts

Apparently Charles Dickens was fascinated by the occult and ghost stories. But is it possible he 'stole' one of his ghost stories from someone else? Find out at a new exhibition at the British Library about the author called, A Hankering After Ghosts.

Marley's Ghost - Project Gutenberg
To mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth, this exhibition explores the many ways in which Dickens used supernatural phenomena in his works, while placing them in the context of scientific, technological and philosophical debates of his time. Dickens’s interest in the macabre was apparent from an early age. As an adult he was caught up in ‘mesmeric mania’ that swept Britain and developed an interest in the ‘power of the human mind’. He believed that all supernatural manifestations must have rational explanations, but his investigations into animal magnetism and psychology showed him that science could be as chilling as any ghost story. As a result he became wonderfully adept at suspending readers between psychological and supernatural explanations in his fiction.

Guardian Review

1 comment:

Herr Punkinstein said...

A nice post. I wrote about "A Christmas Carol" last year (probably will again this year) as it is one of my very favorite books.
Based on the overall tone of the book, it is safe to assume that Scrooge has either dreamed all of it or he has not dreamed it. But, it seems that Boz was at least interested in supporting the Christian aspects, such as pointed out through the character of Scrooge's nephew Fred and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Thus we can say that he was supportive of supernatural phenomena of at least one type.