Of the many misers created by Charles Dickens, such as Scrooge and Fagin, Mr. Barkis is perhaps the most jovial and pleasant as a character.
£3,000 would have been a very comfortable sum of money during the nineteenth century, and according to the financial figures later revealed, the amount is close to half the amount of Betsey Trotwood’s fortune, so Peggotty’s share of the money would have provided her well for her years as a widow.
It was common for 'respectable' families to reject any family member who brought any disgrace or scandal upon the family. For example, the British Royal Family largely isolated the former Edward VIII (1894-1972) when he disgraced the family by abdicating in 1936 in order to wed the twice divorced, Wallis Simpson (1896-1986).
“The Irish Giant” refers to the unusually tall, Charles Byrne (1761-1783), also known as Charles O’Brien. In the later 1700s, he was exhibited in London as a human curiosity or freak, and his skeleton was later preserved at the Royal College of Surgeons.