Charles Dickens teaches us about financial crises
For those of you looking for hope in times of economic woe, look no further than the man who brought you "Oliver Twist."
Sometimes the cliché hits the mark.
For years Hollywood has been making musical fun out of the miseries of 18th Century England. Of course, Charles Dickens himself, the author, made a fortune from writing about his own personal in that terrible time of Victorian and Industrial Revolutionary England.
University of Oxford English professor Dr. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst says no other author can encapsulate the anxiety of our current economy better than Charles Dickens.
"One of the good things about Dickens is that he contains so much -- there is a whole imaginative world there, which is like the one we live in, but also weirdly at odds with it. And that means that you can pick up almost anything that he writes and you will find relevance in it today.
"For instance, poverty as bearing a kind of social stigma, Betty Higdon, a character in "Our Mutual Friend," springs to mind there. She prefers to go and die rather than go to the workhouse.
"I suppose the ideal of value is one that he comes back to again and again. Again, there seems to be a sort of fascination for him. What should you value? And in fact, is it possible to value money too much, and that's of course one of the stories behind "Our Mutual Friend."
And one of the stories behind the financial crises right now: you value money too much, and it becomes worthless.
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