. . . Lady Cordelia calls to her maid as she prepares to greet her guest this morning – Mr. Charles Dickens!
Mr. Dickens is coming to tea . . .
To celebrate his birthday, you see . . .
Today we mark two hundred years of Dickens’ memorable life that has seen more theatrical and movie adaptations of his works than Shakespeare and – if you can believe this – Jane Austen! He made humble heroes like his semi-autobiographical David Copperfield . . .
And, dastardly villains like Fagin abusing small orphans like Oliver . . .
Not only household names – but, archetypes of protagonist and antagonist characters in literary works via his major contributions to the development of novel writing.
And, don’t even get me on the subject of Scrooge and Cratchit!
To be sure, in order to properly receive her guest today, Lady Cordelia is decked in pastel winter pinks – flowing chiffon over taffeta skirting topped by a smart pin striped blazer over the laciest of chemise.
And, fresh from the millinery shop – a striking pink felted hat shaped with a stylish cock, sporting adornments of pink blossoms, pink plumes, and trailing pink lace ribbons.
The daintiest of cameo necklaces are clasped about her neckline producing an understated elegance.
Polly runs to the kitchen after a cordial curtsy to her mistress – agog that the great Mr. Charles Dickens would be arriving soon! But, not before she has followed Lady Cordelia’s instructions as to the tea table settings!
“I believe today we shall honor Mr. Dickens with a place setting in my Royal Albert Lavender Rose pattern – my very newest acquisition!”
“Yes, mum!” Polly obliges, carefully arranging platter . . .
Teacup and saucer . . .
Creamer and sugar . . .
Teapot at the ready warmly embraced by a tea cozy set off to perfection with a lavender-rose embellishment . . .
Beside a literary giant in his own right – the good Master William Shakespeare’s black tea literary blend from Steep Show Teas . . .
All artfully arranged on the table – surrounded by a selection of Dickens’ favorites . . .
“And, I shall complete my ensemble with a lavender pin corsage – lovely with my rose bouquet – and the perfect compliment to a table well set!” Polly assists the good Lady in pinning her brooch to affix the fragrant lavender to her lapel.
To be sure, the good Mr. Dickens provides the most sage and salient of conversation one might hope for in a tea guest, regaling Lady Cordelia with tales of the good Mr. Pickwick’s sporting adventures as recorded in The Pickwick Papers – producing howls of laughter between sips of tea.
Of course, Lady Cordelia has an opinion or two to express on her hopes for Our Mutual Friend, the mercenary Bella Wilfer, and her treatment of the much unjustly maligned John Harmon!
“One can only hope, Mr. Dickens, that our good Bella turns out to be just that – good! I pray she emerge from this trial of character proving decidedly converted.”
Mr. Dickens assures her that may very well prove to be so in the end.
However, as he takes a bite of Polly’s tea muffins . . .
. . . he can not so express such optimism for poor Little Nellie, late of The Old Curiosity Shop recently foreclosed upon. I fear tears on that score will be forthcoming. Even so – just desserts will be served to take the sting out of her loss.
Conversation turns even more serious as the trials of the Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison are reviewed from the pure-in-heart perspectives of Little Dorrit‘s good soul and care-taking of her father in such a horrid place – as was her lot throughout her turbulent childhood.
Rags to riches and back to rags again – yet ultimately peace and contentment as justice and truth prevail – all and sundry tested in taking responsibility for their own choices in life – thereby some suffering just consequences – while others rewarded. Isn’t that the ultimate life lesson? The choices we make along the way determine our ultimate destinies – hero and villain alike.
“Oh, do try another muffin, Mr. Dickens. Polly quite slaved over the recipe!” Lady Cordelia offers to her obliging guest.
Throughout his career, Dickens’ pen brought the world thoroughly engrossing literary masterpieces, dripping in powerful truths, illustrating in substance a Biblical Christian worldview . . .
. . . so prevalent in his day – and not amiss in contemporary relevance, I assure you!
STORY – moving the reader to consider his or her own place in the tale – and the real world at large. What say ye – be ye hero or villain? Lady Cordelia pours a second cuppa in honor of words well written . . .
And – a special link-up today at The Polka Dot Closet for the Dress Form Ball!!!