1. Aren’t we all.
  2. This isn’t a reference to the Three Musketeers
  3. This isn’t either.
  4. This one probably is.
  5. Coincidentally, Charles Dickens invented the game hangman, one afternoon in 1863, while being bored to tears by his own horrible prose.
  6. Doesn’t sound that wretched. It’s only six pence. Get over yourself farm face.
  7. Imagine knowing what this means. Must be exciting being literary.
  8. This is the most convoluted way of saying ‘a man was standing on a road’ in English literature. Dress it up all you like Dickens, it is still superfluous.

  1. Nowadays, when people like Katie Hopkins write sentences like this we all get very upset. In 1859 it was seen as cool, and a bit edgy.
  2. This marks the first time Norway was mentioned in an English novel, though many suspect Dickens just chucked it in to get the record because the mention of Norway is completely superfluous to the sentence.
  3. People still argue what a “certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it” is. He probably meant a picnic basket.
  4. ‘tumbrils’ is, of course, one of the many words Dickens invented. It didn’t catch on because it sounded too silly.
  5. A rare typo. This should, of course, say ‘for ass munch’
  6. Occasionally I like to imagine what it would be like to understand this sentence. Quite nice, I reckon. Quite nice.
  7. And all on the way to St Ives, I believe.
  8. Dickens would often reference jokes that were doing the rounds of the coffee shops in his work. This mention of Turnham Green is an allusion to one of the most popular at the time:

    “I was made to stand and deliver last night”
    “Turnham Green?”
    “No. But I did shit myself.”

  1. You can ignore everything I have crossed out, because it is silly.
  2. This sounds a bit odd to the modern reader, but there were really were a king in England and there were a king in France too, and their jaws was similar.
  3. Critics have argued about this one line of prose for decades. Known as the ‘Extra Words Dilemma’, the debate rages around the true meaning of this muddied sentence about clarity. In a nutshell, it would make a lot more sense if it didn’t have the bit about “preserves of loaves and fishes” in it, but recent thinking is that, in an ideal world, fifteen and a half words be removed.
  4. This is, by some way, the rudest sentence in the English language.
  5. Dickens does love a ghost. Unfortunately, this one won’t sing any songs of the quality of “We’re Marley and Marley, woooooooh” from Dickens’ finest musical, The Muppets Christmas Carol.
  6. Haven’t we all.