Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dickens on Hamlet: "You Would Find Him A Poser"

Thanks to the Morgan Museum, we can finally read Charles Dickens' changes to "A Christmas Story". While I was surprised to see no mention of the flag pole incident, the juiciest bit was on the first page. He'd originally intended to start the story with a jab at the Dorky Dane:

"Perhaps you think that Hamlet's intellects were strong. I doubt it. If you could have such a son tomorrow, depend upon it, you would find him a poser. He would be a most impracticable fellow to deal with, and however creditable he might be to the family, after his decease, he would prove a special incumbrance in his lifetime, trust me."

Later in the manuscript he refers to Macbeth as "a rather whipped sociopath," Richard III as "the gimpy king" and Juliet as "romantically impetuous, but with a nice rack".

I strongly recommend the entire manuscript for fans (or enemies) of both the Bard and the Blowhard!

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