The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 7, 2014

February 7, 1812

Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 to June 9, 1870) is said to have based David Copperfield (1850) on episodes in his own childhood. His talents astound really if you try to explain how his fiction combines the particular and the abstract in heart pulling ways.

None of this is exemplified in our quote from the drama of David Copperfield:

Mrs. Crupp had indignantly assure him that there was NOT room to swing a cat there; but, as Mr. Dick justly observed to me, sitting down on the foot of the bed, nursing his leg, "You know Trotwood, I don't want to swing a cat. I never do swing a cat. Therefore, what does that signify to me!"

Alas another thing that does not signify is that Dickens is the author of the next quote: "What greater gift than the love of a cat."

I cannot find it in any Dickens editions except those published by some outfit called Kiddy Monster Publication. I suspect they just publish material in the public domain. They put it in a section of Dickens quotes, but they do not source this one. They are probably just careless.

My suspicions were aroused when I reflected that Dickens did not really care about cats, they co-existed in his household, but he was not a great cat lover. This may have begun as an innocent mistake that was magnified once the internet existed to magnify all kinds of errors.

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