Dickens 'more relevant than ever' in BritainMonday 06 February 2012
In the run-up to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth tomorrow his biographer Claire Tomalin warned that the great novelist's depiction of injustice in society was still "amazingly relevant."
Ms Tomalin said Dickens's portrayal of the proletariat still resonated in modern Britain.
"You only have to look around our society and everything he wrote in the 1840s is still relevant - the great gulf between rich and poor, corrupt financiers and members of Parliament, how the country is run by old Etonians - you name it, he said it," she said.
"The world did become a much better place in postwar England. Attlee's government brought in the National Health Service. There was free university education for children of all classes.
"But now our health system is deteriorating, we do not have free university education and we have never been so divided."
Events taking place to mark Dickens's birthday include a street party in the road where he was born in Portsmouth and a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave at Westminster Abbey.