Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Top 10 best-loved Dickens characters


Ebenezer Scrooge is top of the pops in a new poll to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth today. The shortlist, voted for by Penguin readers, indicates a clear love of villains and outcasts among the top 10 most popular Dickensian characters. After party-pooper Ebenezer comes the heartbroken Miss Havisham, with Sydney Carton from A Tale Of Two Cities in third place. Come see who else made the cut - as chosen by 833 people voting on the Penguin website - below.

Picture credit: Rex Features

Ebenezer Scrooge - A Christmas Carol

"If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

Miss Havisham - Great Expectations

"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!"

Sydney Carton - A Tale Of Two Cities

"I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me."

The Artful Dodger - Oliver Twist

"You may start by jappaning my trotter case. In plain English, clean my boots."

Fagin - Oliver Twist

"When the boy is worth a hundred pounds to me, am I to lose what chance threw me in the way of getting safely, through the whims of a drunken gang that I could whistle away the lives of! And me bound, too, to a born devil, that only wants the will and has the power."

Joe Gargery - Great Expectations

"Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Diwisions among such must come, and must be met as they come."

Pip - Great Expectations

"'Estella,' said I, turning to her now, and trying to command my trembling voice, 'you know I love you. You know that I have loved you long and dearly.'"

Nancy - Oliver Twist

"I am chained to my old life. I loathe and hate it now, but I cannot leave it. I must have gone too far to turn back - and yet I don't know, for if you had spoken to me so, some time ago, I should have laughed it off"

Abel Magwitch - Great Expectations

"Yes, Pip, dear boy, I've made a gentleman on you! It's me wot has done it! I swore that time, sure as ever I earned a guinea, that guinea should go to you."

Betsey Trotwood - David Copperfield

"'Never,' said my aunt, 'be mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you.'"



Fancy a pair of meat leggings?


Top 20 dubious celebrity lookalikes



New photos of Renee Zellweger filming Bridget Jones in London

Actress dons a baby bump in Woolwich by Emily Badiozzaman

07 Oct 2015

“It's pathetic” Why Cate Blanchett can't stand social media

"I cannot for the life of me work out why adults are participating in that shit.” by Harriet Hall

07 Oct 2015

Ashley Judd reveals she was sexually harassed by a film executive

"He was very stealth and expert about it" by Emily Badiozzaman

07 Oct 2015

Take a tour inside Taylor Swift's palatial Beverly Hills mansion

It has a history of intimate soirees and lavish celebrations for the entertainment industry's elite. by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

This weekend’s A-list Instagram highlights

From Beyonce sparking pregnancy rumours to Britney partying with Kate Hudson by Penelope Travers

05 Oct 2015

Why Carey Mulligan hates the phrase “strong woman”

"You don’t say to men: 'You played another really strong man." by Harriet Hall

05 Oct 2015

Emily Blunt on why she's sick of being healthy

“The thought of the gym again makes me want to cry”

05 Oct 2015

Nicole Scherzinger's perfect response to questions on being child-free

"You’re 37, this is a woman who spent seven years of her life breaking up and getting back together." by Harriet Hall

05 Oct 2015

The first pic of Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones is here

Everything we know about the third Bridget Jones film so far… by Penelope Travers

05 Oct 2015