" 'The eldest, the Beauty is here,' said Traddles, in a low confidential voice, 'Caroline. And Sarah's here—the one I mentioned to you as having something the matter with her spine, you know. Immensely better! And the two youngest that Sophy educated are with us. And Louisa's here.' "
Like Tom and Sophy Traddles, Charles and Catherine Dickens often had relatives living with them. Dating from the end of their honeymoon, they almost never lived alone. A succession of relatives came to reside with them, including Catherine’s sisters and Charles’ younger brother, Frederick Dickens. It's a wonder Dickens ever got any work done!
" 'I have found a pleasure,' returned Agnes, smiling, 'while you have been absent, in keeping everything as it used to be when we were children. For we were very happy then, I think.' "
The preserved wedding breakfast of Miss Havisham (Great Expectations)
Many of Dickens' characters seek to distil time by keeping rooms as they were at some desired point in the past. Nurse Peggotty keeps a room for David just as he left it, as does Agnes. Most famously, of course, Miss Havisham keeps the reception room as it had been prepared just prior to her wedding.
" she, ever a star above me, was brighter and higher. "
A Biblical analogy referring to the guiding star of Nazareth, which led the three kings to Jesus as he lay in his manger.
" I took up my abode in my aunt's house at Dover; and there, sitting in the window from which I had looked out at the moon upon the sea, when that roof first gave me shelter, I quietly pursued my task. "
Home of Mary Pearson Strong, the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood
Charles Dickens wrote some of David Copperfield
in the house upon which Aunt Betsey’s house was based, and there his work desk faced the window, so that he could observe the sea while working.
" on the ground-floor of the Tower of Babel "
From the Book of Genesis. The Tower was said to have been built in Babylon for the glory of man; God, displeased by this intent, confused all the languages of its people so that communication between them became a confused and raucous affair. Click here to read more.