Are you a yes-Dickens or a no-Dickens person? Charlotte Higgins is asking. Me, I'm well along in the yes category, though I still have a lot more to read. And I don't get the no-ists. Melodramatic, sure. Sentimental, of course. Exaggerated, you bet. But true to life in spite of all that. Here's just one passage in place of an argument:
There was anything but solitude in the nursery; for there, Mrs. Chick and Miss Tox were enjoying a social evening, so much to the disgust of Miss Susan Nipper, that that young lady embraced every opportunity of making wry faces behind the door. Her feelings were so much excited on the occasion, that she found it indispensable to afford them this relief, even without having the comfort of any audience or sympathy whatever. As the knight-errants of old relieved their minds by carving their mistress's names in deserts, and wildernesses, and other savage places where there was no probability of there ever being anybody to read them, so did Miss Susan Nipper curl her snub nose into drawers and wardrobes, put away winks of disparagement in cupboards, shed derisive squints into stone pitchers, and contradict and call names out in the passage.
Probably nobody in the history of the world ever actually put away winks of disparagement in cupboards, and all the rest of it, but you know what he's saying and won't forget it.