Charles Dickens: 'Our mutual friend'
A1987 New Yorker cartoon at the Morgan Library & Museum suggests just how thoroughly Charles Dickens and his works have penetrated American culture. A publisher, perusing a manuscript, presses the author to clarify the famous opening line of A Tale of Two Cities: "I wish you would make up your mind, Mr. Dickens. Was it the best of times or was it the worst of times? It could scarcely have been both."
Well, yes, laughter aside, it can be both.
The Morgan Library has readied an exhibit to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.
His last novel, rescued from a train collision after he had helped to rescue passengers, was called Our Mutual Friend.
Charles Dickens is the mutual friend of every appreciative reader.