Charles Dickens: Racist and Bad Writer

I have always had a particular hatred for the works of Charles Dickens. His incessant use of deus ex machine and his unnatural ability to ruin every ending he ever wrote, make him a despicable read. Naturally, bad plot writers also misjudge and do not understand human nature, or, more likely, those who misunderstand human nature make bad plot writers. A few days ago I learned, not surprisingly, that Dickens was an apologist for murderers, and he was a racist to boot:

In a chapter of Bleak House titled “Telescopic Philanthropy” Dickens ridicules a Mrs. Jellaby who neglects her family for the good of Africans in “Borrio-boola-Gha.”14 On the cover of the serial version of Bleak House, we see Mrs. Jellaby holding two black children. And beside her is a sign reading “Exeter Hall.” [an anti-slavery hub of Christians and Economists]

Charles Dickens does his utmost to blacken the name of abolitionists. He filled his writings with hatred of blacks, jews, Indians, and the likes (see The Noble Savage). He even goes so far as to lend his name in support of people who murder abolitionists. Take the case of Edward John Eyre, who murdered several hundred blacks along with murdering a sympathizer Baptist minister, George Gordon. The case was known as the Eyre Controversy:

On October 7, 1865, a black man was put on trial and imprisoned for trespassing on a long-abandoned plantation, creating anger among black Jamaicans. When one member of a group of black protesters from the village of Stony Gut was arrested, the protesters became unruly and broke the accused man from prison… A few days later on October 11, Bogle marched with a group of protesters to Morant Bay. When the group arrived at the court house they were met by a small volunteer militia who panicked and opened fire on the group, killing seven black protesters before retreating. The black protesters then rioted, killing 18 people (including white officials and militia) and taking control of the town. In the days that followed some 2,000 black rebels roamed the countryside, killing two white planters and forcing others to flee for their lives.

Governor John Eyre sent government troops to hunt down the poorly armed rebels and bring Paul Bogle back to Morant Bay for trial. The troops were met with no organized resistance but killed blacks indiscriminately, many of whom had not been involved in the riot or rebellion: according to one soldier, “we slaughtered all before us… man or woman or child”. In the end, 439 black Jamaicans were killed directly by soldiers, and 354 more (including Paul Bogle) were arrested and later executed, some without proper trials. Paul Bogle was executed “either the same evening he was tried or the next morning.”[1] Other punishments included flogging for over 600 men and women (including some pregnant women), and long prison sentences.

The person responsible for all this, Eyre, also executed Baptist minister George Gordon although he was nowhere near the riot at the time of events. Abolitionists instantly were incensed at the wanton murder by Eyre and set out for his conviction. It is telling that Charles Darwin and his bulldog, Thomas Huxley, even sided with the Christians and Economists against Eyre. The classic line-up on behalf of Eyre included notable pro-slavery forces of the likes of Thomas Carlye and the aforementioned Charles Dickens. Naturally the courts let the murderer go.

Charles Dickens, it is no wonder he is a hero to leftists.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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8 Responses to Charles Dickens: Racist and Bad Writer

  1. Matters says:

    LOL, you’re just jealous.

    • I was contemplating how to respond to you accusation of jealousy. I admit, I am a very jealous person. Though, you have misrepresented the object of my jealousy. Let us compare four different authors. Two good, two bad.

      Take Joseph Conrad. I could grab any random paragraph out of any of his works and be still be green with envy:

      Random sample:

      “I came upon him, and, if he had not heard me coming, I would have fallen over him, too, but he got up in time. He rose, unsteady, long, pale, indistinct, like a vapour exhaled by the earth, and swayed slightly, misty and silent before me; while at my back the fires loomed between the trees, and the murmur of many voices issued from the forest. I had cut him off cleverly; but when actually confronting him I seemed to come to my senses, I saw the danger in its right proportion. It was by no means over yet.”

      Selective sample:

      “We were cut off from the comprehension of our surroundings; we glided past like phantoms, wondering and secretly appalled, as sane men would be before an enthusiastic outbreak in a madhouse. We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember because we were travelling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign — and no memories.”

      Conrad’s work (and I petitioned hard, to no avail, to have my first born son named Conrad) is beautiful. He splashed his pages in vivid imagery, raw emotions, and keen insights into human nature. Dickens, on the other hand, fills his pages with propaganda, absurdities (I see you ignored the deus ex machine charge), and literally ruined the lives of countless individuals (see Robert Hessen’s article “The Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Women and Children”).

      Let us take two different authors, none of whom I know have politics embedded in their writings. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Guess which one I hate? I will give you a hint: the one who half-way through one of her novels has an obscure character die in Africa to leave an enormous fortune to the main character. Actually, that sounds like Dickens, but instead of Africa insert Australia. On the other hand, Austen creates detailed and believable relationships, uses cleverness to advance the plot, and she does this all in Victorian English.

      In regards to Dickens, Thomas Macaulay might as well have been talking about him.

      You sound like you would have liked Star Wars better if half-way through the movie the Death Star was destroyed by a random asteroid.

  2. Matters says:

    BTW, Dickens’ portrayal of Mrs. Jellaby was right on the money. It’s unnerving how much her character resembles that of Angelina Jolie, who has adapted babies from multiple third world countries and who has said in an interview that her own biological daughter with husband Brad Pitt is an “outcast” in her brood due to her fair looks. Also, she has said that she dotes more on her adopted non-white children because they weren’t “born into privilege” like her biological daughter – a pathetic excuse that further cements the reality that she is Mrs. Jellaby incarnate. And there you have it – Dickens is famous for a good reason. His characters are, indeed, right on the money.

    • Oddly enough, you write this as I mod Angelina Jolie into Mount and Blade: with Fire and Sword (I am not a fan of her acting or looks, but I was hard pressed to find libertarian females). So, you are saying that the increase in prosperity Mrs Jolie brings children that are not biologically related to her does not outweigh the emotion “trauma” now inflicted on her own children? You think what she is doing is wrong or somehow she is wronging others? What does she owe whom? Please make your case.

      On a side note, you sound like you could benefit from reading Bryan Caplan’s new book “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids”.

  3. Joe says:

    Wow…I have absolutely nothing to say except you are a bias moron who likes hating for it’s own sake..which is purely retarded in arguing a point. Why don’t you actually do some research before making mindless accusations about topics you have no idea about. And stop looking too far into a work just so you can prove a point…I can use that way of arguing to say that by the website that you are posting this on that you are a bias moron…. So you sir are a literary dumbass. Go back to school and learn how to properly write an analysis/article….with myself having a masters degree in literature from the catholic universities of America, I am disgusted at you….go fuck yourself.

  4. Titus says:



    I read the piece with interest until the end when your personal hatred for anybody left of Adolf suddenly exploded onto the page.

    Shameful comment.

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