"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness..."
And with those famous words, every secondary schooler across the globe plunged into the world of Charles Dickens. February 7th is the 200th birthday of one of the world's best-known writers, and some countries in the East are already celebrating the occasion with a Google Doodle.
Today, Google's logo is populated with many of the Victorian-era characters that have endeared the author to so many over the years.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsea, and area of Portsmouth. He penned his first novel, The Pickwick Papers in 1836. Over the course of his life, Dickens wrote around two dozen novels, various short stories, an even some poetry and plays. He is probably best known for the novels The Adventures of Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.
Many of his earlier novels were written in a serial format, with each new installment coming every month.
"He had extraordinary energy and he was extraordinarily hard-working. His first three novels - The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby - came out in monthly installments. When he was halfway through The Pickwick Papers he started writing Oliver Twist, so each month he was writing two installments of quite different novels. Can you imagine doing that now?" Dickens biographer Claire Romalin told news.com.au.
Dickens has remained popular through the years, but not everyone (especially in the States) can claim to be major Dickens fans. But to those of you who don't find Victorian literature all that riveting, just remember that without Dickens, we never would've been graced with this Bill Murray performance: