Mr. Dickens Comes to Tea

“Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea . . .”
Charles Dickens
Barnaby Rudge

. . . 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 . . .

 “There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth”
Charles Dickens 

 . . . so prevalent in his day – and not amiss in contemporary relevance, I assure you!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . . it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair . . . in short, the period was so far like the present period . . . .”
Charles Dickens
The Tale of Two Cities 

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 . . .

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
Charles Dickens

Sharing today’s teatime, Mr. Dickens Comes to Tea, with: 

Sandi on Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Trisha’s Tea Party Tuesday at Sweetology
Kathy’s A Return to Loveliness Tuesday at Delightsome Life
Terri’s Teacup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations

Teacups and Tea Things at Antiques and Teacups
Trish’s Simply Sweet at Lily-Rose Cottage

And – a special link-up today at The Polka Dot Closet for the Dress Form Ball!!!

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Happy Birthday Mr Dickens, love your work! The Lady is divine in her winter pinks the hat is gorgeous! And the outfit perfectly prim and proper for such a meeting! Thank you so much for attending the Dress Form Ball!!


  2. Happy Dicken’s birthday! A wonderful post! I am doing mine tomorrow…Queen Elizabeth’s Ascension Day pipped Dicken’s at the post for today! I love your vintage fashions! I’ll have to dig mine out! Wonderful post, Kathy!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed stopping by today for tea time, to honor Mr. Dickens and learn more about him and his books!
    Your new Royal Albert china is beautiful! What a charming and fun visit this was!
    Hope you are well soon and cold season over at your house!
    Be blessed!
    Love, Linda

  4. What a special guest you have for tea today!
    I’ve also dedicated today’s post to Charles Dickens, on his bicentenary.
    I loved the post… and the china is beautiful!
    Thanks for it all.

  5. Okay! you are a writer..and I love it all! Thanks for this Dickens of a post!
    I love your pretty pictures too!

    Have yourself a great night…….
    ciao bella

    Creative Carmelina

  6. Hello Kathryn
    A fun post to pay tribute to Charles Dickens. I’m drooling over the Victorian hat and clothing.

  7. I do enjoy storytime! And, your Cordelia is dressed to kill…love how she’s adorned her outfit. Feather topping her hat! Lovely…just lovely. My Hedy will be looking closely for Cordelia in hopes that they will meet. You can never have too many friends… that’s what Hedy always says.

    xoso Sandy

  8. Cordelia is lovely! I love vintage fashion, and Sandi will be pleased you share her pattern! A wonderful post and so informative! Wonderful.

  9. Kathy, this was a wonderful tea post in honour of Mr Dickens!
    So you say, his works more popularly adapted than Sheakespeare’s or Jane’s?
    Well, fancy that!!
    Your Royal Albert setting is very lovely, my friend.
    Perfect for the occasion.
    What a lot of fun you must have, dressing your Cordelia in all her finery!!
    I’d love to have a life-size doll like her to play with, too 🙂
    In fact..I’d like to have her pretty wardrobe to wear myself, lol!
    Thanks for linking to Simply Sweet.
    Have a wonderful week! blessings..Trish

  10. Hello Kathy, This is wonderfully creative! Quite whimsical! I love Dickens and Cordelia is quite lovely! The images are just wonderful – thank you for sharing with A Return to Loveliness,
    God Bless,
    BTW – if you go to On The Picket Fence blog they explain the new Linky Follow option – Google Friend Connect will discontinue their services for everyone except for Blogger – from what I’ve read they’re trying to promote their Google+ to compete with Facebook.
    Hope that helps,

  11. Well Cordelia is sure an elegant and enchanting host! I loved this post full of whimsy and history and a very unique brand of tea that I have never heard – indeed a wonderful time here that is for sure! best to you.

  12. Hi Kathy! It is so wonderful to see you at the ball! I love how you shared some history with us too – Charles Dickens is so wonderful! Have you ever read the book he wrote about his life – how he taught his children? (I think). I’ve always wanted too. Hugs to you! Isn’t this fun?!

  13. Lovely tribute to ” Dickens” …. Polly has finely dressed us for this special occasion… Great pictures….Hugs

  14. Cordelia is stunning and I love her feathery hat!
    It was sweet of her to join the party, I hope she had an enjoyable evening….

    Have a great night!

  15. Nice Job, Miss Kathy! I was going to blog about Dickens, but I’ll just send people here! Too bad about Shakespeare sticking his over inflated ruff in the blog, though 😉

  16. Hello Miss Kathy and Mistress Cordelia,
    What a wonderful Birthday Tea you arranged for Mr. Dickens, I’m sure he appreciates the effort you made.
    Mistress Cordelia is beautifully dressed and the table setting is exquisite.
    Thank you for sharing …..
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  17. Your dress form and her lovely attire is divine! And your dishes are to die for!!


  18. Kathy, I totally love your post! I enjoyed reading about Mr. Dickens coming to tea! Your new Royal Albert Lavender Rose tea cup set is so pretty! You created the perfect tea to celebrate Mr. Dickens birthday!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us about this well known and loved author.
    (enjoying “pinning” with you! We seem to like much the same things!)

    • Beautiful!! I found your blog and I liked the content. From today I still, if you want to invite you to visit my blog and if you like it, I would like to have you as a follower on my blog to keep in touch. Sorry, I do not speak English and the translation is made with Google. With warm regards.

  19. Hello Kathy, Perfect post! I love your photos and the outfit. Your new dishes are beautiful. Hope you enjoy your week. XO, Linda

  20. Hello Kathy,
    A wonderful and creative post, m’dear! I love your Lady Cordelia and her frock and plumed hat are fabulous.
    Of course, I do love Lavender Rose too and I have many pieces of it. Thank you for a most entertaining post today.


  21. Very nice! I loved the combined sharing of the dress form with the tea and Charles! Well done. The china is lovely!

  22. Dear Miss Kathy, oh Mr. Dickens would be so proud of you. What a fun blog…you are so very creative.
    How goes life? I have been too busy. I need to go back and read more of your blog posts.
    The outfit is delightful.
    Happy Valentines.
    Lady Linda

  23. As much as I enjoyed this enchanting tea with Polly, Lady Cordelia and of course the legendary Mr. Dickens himself, I can’t leave satisfied. You see, I’m coveting those gorgeous leather bound editions you just casually left laying on the table!

    Blessings, Debbie

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