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I’m a great admirer of Dickens, and—while he is certainly capable of wearying the reader—when he’s in form, I think there is probably no more entertaining writer in the English language.  I’m currently reading Little Dorrit for the first time, and laughed out loud at his description of a certain

old lady, dark-browed and high-nosed, and who must have had something real about her, or she could not have existed, but it was certainly not her hair or her teeth or her figure or her complexion . . . .

p. 257.