300+ Charles Dickens Quotes From Novels and Letters

Charles Dickens is perhaps the most well known writer of the Victorian era. This collection of Charles Dickens quotes draws from his prolific writings.

Charles Dickens – Author

Charles Dickens was a Victorian era author who wrote prolifically. He is perhaps best known for his novels “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Oliver Twist,” and “Great Expectations.” Dickens was known for his social commentary, and his work often reflected the harsher realities of life in Victorian England.

Thanks to his vast body of work, he is one of the most quoted authors of all time. These Charles Dickens quotes cover a wide range of topics, from love and marriage to poverty and crime.

Best Charles Dickens Quotes

 

What a fine thing capital punishment is! Dead men never repent; dead men never bring awkward stories to light. The prospect of the gallows, too, makes them hardy and bold. Ah, it’s a fine thing for the trade! Five of them strung up in a row, and none left to play booty or turn white-livered!

– Charles Dickens


Think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you.

– Charles Dickens


Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces – and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper – love her, love her, love her!

– Charles Dickens


It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.

– Charles Dickens


That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

– Charles Dickens


Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures, hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?

– Charles Dickens


Remember how strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in is misery!

– Charles Dickens


It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home.

– Charles Dickens

It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home. - Charles Dickens


I know enough of the world now, to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything.

– Charles Dickens


No one who can read, ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.

– Charles Dickens


I stole her heart away and put ice in its place.

– Charles Dickens


Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

– Charles Dickens


Ask no questions, and you’ll be told no lies.

– Charles Dickens

Ask no questions, and you’ll be told no lies. - Charles Dickens


When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.

– Charles Dickens


A man is lucky if he is the first love of a woman. A woman is lucky if she is the last love of a man.

– Charles Dickens


There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

– Charles Dickens

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. - Charles Dickens


Famous Charles Dickens Quotes

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!

– Charles Dickens


For not an orphan in the wide world can be so deserted as the child who is an outcast from a living parent’s love.

– Charles Dickens


The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

– Charles Dickens


Drat that boy, interposed my sister, frowning atme over her work, what a questioner he is. Ask no questions, and you’ll be told no lies.

– Charles Dickens


A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

– Charles Dickens

A loving heart is the truest wisdom. - Charles Dickens


Lawyers hold that there are two kinds of particularly bad witnesses–a reluctant witness, and a too-willing witness.

– Charles Dickens


I love your daughter fondly, dearly, disninterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love in the world, I love her.

– Charles Dickens


The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living day after day after terrible day.

– Charles Dickens


The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I love her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection .

– Charles Dickens


Man is but mortal; and there is a point beyond which human courage cannot extend.

– Charles Dickens

Man is but mortal; and there is a point beyond which human courage cannot extend. - Charles Dickens

Related: 300+ Courage Quotes To Help You Face Fears And Overcome Adversity


A multitude of people and yet a solitude.

– Charles Dickens

A multitude of people and yet a solitude. - Charles Dickens


No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.

– Charles Dickens


Her contempt for me was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it.

– Charles Dickens


Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.

– Charles Dickens


It was remembered afterwards that when he bent down and touched her face with his lips, he murmured some words. The child, who was nearest to him, told them afterwards, and told her grandchildren when she was a handsome old lady, that she heard him say, A life you love.

– Charles Dickens


A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

– Charles Dickens


Inspirational Quotes by Charles Dickens

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

– Charles Dickens

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. - Charles Dickens


I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me.

– Charles Dickens


My heart is set, as firmly as ever heart of man was set on woman. I have no thought, no view, no hope, in life beyond her; and if you oppose me in this great stake, you take my peace and happiness in your hands, and cast them to the wind.

– Charles Dickens


Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.

– Charles Dickens


There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

– Charles Dickens


Thus violent deeds live after men upon the earth, and traces of war and bloodshed will survive in mournful shapes long after those who worked the desolation are but atoms of earth themselves.

– Charles Dickens


Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper. A smell like a washing-day! That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that! That was the pudding! In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered—flushed, but smiling proudly—with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

– Charles Dickens


Dumb as a drum vith a hole in it, sir.

– Charles Dickens


Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.

– Charles Dickens


Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

– Charles Dickens


I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things.

– Charles Dickens

I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things. - Charles Dickens


In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.

– Charles Dickens


It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.

– Charles Dickens


Poetry makes life what light and music do the stage.

– Charles Dickens

Poetry makes life what light and music do the stage. - Charles Dickens


Skewered through and through with office-pens, and bound hand and foot with red tape.

– Charles Dickens


He was bolder in the daylight – most men are.

– Charles Dickens


Dickens Famous Quotes

You have been the last dream of my soul.

– Charles Dickens


Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six , result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery

– Charles Dickens


I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born, in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends.

– Charles Dickens


You are in every line I have ever read.

– Charles Dickens


Into his handsome face, the bitter waters of captivity had worn; but, he covered up their tracks with a determination so strong, that he held the mastery of them even in his sleep.

– Charles Dickens


Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.

– Charles Dickens


It is an old prerogative of kings to govern everything but their passions.

– Charles Dickens

It is an old prerogative of kings to govern everything but their passions. - Charles Dickens


Old Marley was as dead as a doornail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail.

– Charles Dickens


I found Uriah reading a great fat book, with such demonstrative attention, that his lank forefinger followed up every line as he read, and made clammy tracks along the page (or so I fully believed) like a snail.

– Charles Dickens


Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.

– Charles Dickens


Drink with me, my dear, said Mr. Weller. Put your lips to this here tumbler, and then I can kiss you by deputy.

– Charles Dickens


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– Charles Dickens


It is because I think so much of warm and sensitive hearts, that I would spare them from being wounded.

– Charles Dickens


He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart.

– Charles Dickens


Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.

– Charles Dickens


We produced a bundle of pens, a copious supply of ink, and a goodly show of writing and blotting paper. For there was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationary.

– Charles Dickens


Quotes by Dickens

My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to I have devoted myself completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.

– Charles Dickens


To do a great right, you may do a little wrong; and you may take any means which the end to be attained will justify.

– Charles Dickens


There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.

– Charles Dickens

There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose. - Charles Dickens


I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.

– Charles Dickens


We’ll start to forget a place once we left it.

– Charles Dickens

We’ll start to forget a place once we left it. - Charles Dickensc


Have a heart that never hardens, have a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.

– Charles Dickens


Mrs. Joe was a very clean housekeeper, but had an exquisite art of making her cleanliness more uncomfortable and unacceptable than dirt itself.

– Charles Dickens


Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.

– Charles Dickens


Perhaps second-hand cares, like second-hand clothes, come easily off and on.

– Charles Dickens


We know, Mr. Weller – we, who are men of the world – that a good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.

– Charles Dickens


It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

– Charles Dickens


And O there are days in this life, worth life and worth death.

– Charles Dickens


Is it possible! Yes. And a beautiful world we live in, when it IS possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done

– Charles Dickens


‎And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire.

– Charles Dickens


There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.

– Charles Dickens


No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused

– Charles Dickens


Quotations of Charles Dickens

I looked at the stars, and considered how awful it would be for a man to turn his face up to them as he froze to death, and see no help or pity in all the glittering multitude.

– Charles Dickens


The last trumpet ever to be sounded shall blow even algebra to wreck.

– Charles Dickens


I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire.

– Charles Dickens


Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop, returned madame; but don’t tell me.

– Charles Dickens


For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you–ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn–the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!

– Charles Dickens


Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.

– Charles Dickens


You are fettered, said Scrooge, trembling. Tell me why? I wear the chain I forged in life, replied the Ghost. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.

– Charles Dickens


I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world.

– Charles Dickens


The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.

– Charles Dickens


It was as true… as turnips is. It was as true… as taxes is. And nothing’s truer than them.

– Charles Dickens


You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since-on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with.

– Charles Dickens


There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at last!

– Charles Dickens


Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.

– Charles Dickens


Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.

– Charles Dickens

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule. - Charles Dickens


Barkis is willin’.

– Charles Dickens


Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers, and are famous preservers of good looks.

– Charles Dickens


Quotes Charles Dickens

There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.

– Charles Dickens


You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!

– Charles Dickens


Nothing that we do, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph.

– Charles Dickens


There are very few moments in a man’s existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.

– Charles Dickens


It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.

– Charles Dickens


Life is made of so many partings welded together

– Charles Dickens

Life is made of so many partings welded together - Charles Dickens


But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

– Charles Dickens


Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.

– Charles Dickens

Related: Procrastination Quotes


My advice is, never do to-morrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!

– Charles Dickens


It is said that every life has its roses and thorns; there seemed, however, to have been a misadventure or mistake in Stephen’s case, whereby somebody else had become possessed of his roses, and he had become possessed of the same somebody else’s thorns in addition to his own.

– Charles Dickens


Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families.

– Charles Dickens


What greater gift than the love of a cat.

– Charles Dickens

What greater gift than the love of a cat. - Charles Dickens


I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt

– Charles Dickens


I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

– Charles Dickens


There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.

– Charles Dickens


To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.

– Charles Dickens


Charles Dickens Best Quotes

But we common dogs are proud too, sometimes. They plunder us, outrage us, beat us, kill us; but we have a little pride left, sometimes

– Charles Dickens


A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.

– Charles Dickens


There is prodigious strength in sorrow and despair.

– Charles Dickens


There is a wisdom of the head, and… there is a wisdom of the heart.

– Charles Dickens

There is a wisdom of the head, and… there is a wisdom of the heart. - Charles Dickens


That glorious vision of doing good is so often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds.

– Charles Dickens


Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.

– Charles Dickens


I saw that Mr. and Mrs. Pocket’s children were not growing up or being brought up, but were tumbling up.

– Charles Dickens


Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.

– Charles Dickens

Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low. - Charles Dickens


Not knowing how he lost himself, or how he recovered himself, he may never feel certain of not losing himself again.

– Charles Dickens


We need never be ashamed of our tears.

– Charles Dickens


I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more.

– Charles Dickens


Tell the Wind and the Fire where to stop; not me.

– Charles Dickens


Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.

– Charles Dickens


Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.

– Charles Dickens

Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule. - Charles Dickens


Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!

– Charles Dickens


Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to displace with your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!

– Charles Dickens


Charles Dickens Sayings

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.

– Charles Dickens

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self. - Charles Dickens


There were two classes of charitable people: one, the people who did a little and made a great deal of noise; the other, the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all.

– Charles Dickens


I’ll tell you, said she, in the same hurried passionate whisper, what real love it. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter – as I did!

– Charles Dickens


The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.

– Charles Dickens


We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.

– Charles Dickens


I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.

– Charles Dickens


It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

– Charles Dickens


Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

– Charles Dickens


In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.

– Charles Dickens


I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.

– Charles Dickens


There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.

– Charles Dickens


And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.

– Charles Dickens


Family not only needs to consist of merely those whom we share blood, but also of those whom we’d give blood.

– Charles Dickens


They are Man’s and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.

– Charles Dickens


No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

– Charles Dickens

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. - Charles Dickens


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 epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

– Charles Dickens


I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.

– Charles Dickens


The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were wet and sloppy. The smoke hung sluggishly above the chimney-tops as if it lacked the courage to rise, and the rain came slowly and doggedly down, as if it had not even the spirit to pour.

– Charles Dickens


Constancy in love is a good thing; but it means nothing, and is nothing, without constancy in every kind of effort.

– Charles Dickens


Don’t you think that any secret course is an unworthy one?

– Charles Dickens


So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.

– Charles Dickens



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