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Charles Dickens communicates

Recorded: May 29th 1970

During his literary career, British author Charles Dickens

created hundreds of well-known characters;

from Ebenezer Scrooge and Uriah Heep,
to Oliver Twist and Miss Havisham.


His books are continually republished

and regularly inspire movies and TV shows around the world.


Speaking here, on the anniversary of his death in 1870,

Charles Dickens explains that some his characters

were based on living people that he knew and others who inspired him.


He talks about the people of his time

who were living in poverty and desperate circumstances,

and believes that his writing helped to raise public awareness

and inspire change for people without a chance in life.


Dickens also explains that his writing was sometimes influenced

by people in the spirit world, and that he eventually

was able to meet some of the characters he created...



An unknown communicator briefly shares his gratitude with the sitters; Ida Cook and Louise Cook, before Charles Dickens communicates.

Note: although this recording has been enhanced from a degraded original,

the sound of passing traffic and some audio interference remains.

Please read the full transcript below as you listen.

Present: Ida Cook, Louise Cook, Leslie Flint

Communicators: unknown male, Charles Dickens, Mickey


This séance was recorded on the 29th of May 1970, medium Leslie Flint.

Unknown communicator:

...many are they who gather around, unseen by you.


Many are they who come close, indeed, very close unto you, to serve humanity, to uplift those who dwell in darkness, that they shall see the reality of life eternal and the spheres of light.

Truly you are blessed, inasmuch that you have been given this truth. Great are they who come unto you. Many are they who are endeavouring to break down the barrier that lies between your world and ours, from many spheres [and] many conditions of life.


It is my desire and the desire of all who come, that we shall voice into your world the thoughts of the spirit, and the reality of the spirit, and the power and the love of the spirit.

Truly art thou blessed [unintelligible] that thou hast made possible this link. Thou hast helped us to bridge that gulf, that divide between our world and yours, by your loving thoughts and your prayers and by your desires for all that which is good.


Truly we shall, in the coming years, give unto you great things, great tidings of great joy. Many shall be blessed and comforted. Be then therefore of good heart. Be assured that we shall not fail in which that we have undertaken together, for that which we do is greater than ourselves.


Many are they who wish now to speak unto you. Be thou therefore patient, for many shall find difficulty, but we shall overcome, we shall achieve and the word of the spirit shall go forth in the darkness of your world and many shall be illumined. Be of good faith children.


Oh, yes thank you.

[break in recording]



I am drawn to your world on this occasion because there's been a great deal of discussion and talk about me.


Oh, who?


And I understand that a great deal of fuss is being made, just because it happens to be my centenary.





Well, well, well, it's all very flattering - if one could be, in a sense, flattered in this world of ours - a world in which flattery plays no part and has no meaning and no substance.

Here, we are not concerned with the weaknesses of man. Here, we are concerned with the strength of man, the strength of mind and of spirit. And here, indeed, are we only concerned with those things that are good and those things that are eternal – those virtues, which, in themselves, redeem man from material things.

But nevertheless, because it is my centenary, and because there's so much discussion and so much talk going on – and I understand there's to be another new edition of my works. This is all very pleasant but I like to feel, in spite of all that I've said in regard to flattery or not desiring of it, nevertheless, I would be a very poor example of humanity if I didn't show some appreciation for the loving thoughts that lie... lay behind all that is being done at this time.

And I like to feel that I have left behind, and I feel I can say I have left behind in your world, some illumination, in my writings, of the human spirit.

Because, although within some of my characters we have perhaps an outward figure, which some might even suggest were cardboard in themselves, yet inside the cardboard there was a living reality of individual spirit and the reality of characterisation.

Because, you see, like a good many other writers, sometimes I took composite, as it were, peoples and made them into one and they, as it were, had the outward show and the outward expression, but inside were often several people trying to emerge. And no doubt, in some measure, I succeeded.

I'm very proud, if proud is the right word to use, in a world where virtue is predominant and pride takes little place, but nevertheless, I'm still human. And also as I draw near to Earth I'm conscious, so much, of the thought forces emanating from individuals and peoples and the great interest that's been shown on this occasion because of my centenary and the work that I achieved.

I am nevertheless, naturally, affected by it, but you know...


Of course...



… some of those people that I created were living people. I didn't always realise when I was writing, that some of the people were not living on your side, but living on this!

And I was unconsciously being affected by various mentalities and various personalities from this side who were impinging themselves upon me as I wrote. There were times when I would find myself skimming across the pages like billy-o*


*very fast





And I thought to myself after a long session, and I re-read what I had written, I could hardly believe that some of it I had actually written at all. And, in fact, I don't think I was really conscious, at times, of some of the things that I had penned.


And I now know, having met some of these creatures - dear souls on this side - um, that I did create certain characters, uh, which stand out very vividly in the pages of some of my books, um, who had had a life, who had been individual personalities on Earth.


And though the circumstances, in a sense, very often in my novels were not the same as the living reality that they experienced themselves when on Earth, nevertheless, they were impinging their personality and their character and their little foibles and their little peculiarities of speech and the quirk of circumstance which surrounded them, to some extent, was [relayed] in the pages of my books.


Though, in a sense, I realise also there was a composite, inasmuch that I myself took, when on Earth, from people that I had met and I would note little details about them and I'd say, 'well that's an interesting face, that's an interesting character. I like that, I must enter into one of my books such a personality.'


Yes, yes...


And of course it was... I now see, much more than I ever realised on Earth, that these were, quite often, composite personalities and characters, uh, from all walks of life on both sides.





Oh, I've met a lot of my own characters here and it amazed me to find that they had such substance, such reality. And you know, I could... I could go into detail if I have the time... or had the time to tell you about some of these personalities.


Now you take Quilp*...

*character = Daniel Quilp



Quilp. Yes, Quilp.


He actually lived on Earth.



Did he?



He was a real person... um, I didn't realise, um, at the time... I knew such a man – not to speak to, but I'd seen him in coffee houses, I'd seen him around the side streets and he fascinated me and I thought, well, one day perhaps I can write up such a character.


And when the book came into my mind, the outline and the gradual, sort of, feeling my way with it in the early stages, and I thought this man would fit in admirably.


But since I've been here and I've met the original, who I'd never spoken to on Earth, I realise that I got his personality and his character – and although the circumstances of his life were different, obviously, to what I'd put into my novel – nevertheless there was a great deal there which was of reality and truth in his character and his make up.


He was a man who had a grudge against the world. The world couldn't accept him, uh, partly because of his condition, his physical appearance and also his... he was an inverted character; all within himself, twisted and malformed.


And this came out in the book, of course, and at the same time, since I've met him here, and which of course now is a different 'cup of tea'*, because he's quite a fine looking fellow. That was purely physical. He was unfortunate enough to be so badly formed, but here I've met him and...

*cup of tea = situation


You know, it's an extraordinary thing that he has said to me over and over again that he, himself, tried desperately, when on Earth, to live a good life, but other people wouldn't let him.


Now this may sound a most extraordinary thing. We like to think that we are, to some extent, uh, guardians of our own soul, guardians of our own nature, that we can form, to a certain extent at least, our own way of life, but it is true - and I see this now, more, perhaps, clearly than I did when I was on Earth...


Although I think, in certain respects, I did put a lot into my work, which denotes my realisation of this - but the point is, that none of us really are resp... I wouldn't say responsible, that's not the word to use... but the point is, that we are not always conscious of the fact that we have to go in a certain direction, and we often say to ourselves, 'well, this is my life and I'm going to do so-and-so, I'm going to do this or I'm going to do that'.


And of course, we find ourselves in a set of circumstances, uh, where we are influenced by people around us and the very condition under which we exist or live, uh, or were born, and we find, that with the best will in the world and the best intention, we sometimes have to do things and sometimes are forced to say things which go against the grain, which are foreign to our innermost self.


And we suddenly begin to realise that we are being molded, not by our own selves, but by the actions and the thoughts and the conditions under which we exist.


A lot of my characters, um, I suppose, nowadays in your modern world where licence is free to say and do and think as you will, where man can please himself without bowing down to society or without having to be deceitful, as indeed we often had to be in my time and day...


All this must sound rather strange and perhaps a little odd, because as I speak to you, to some extent, though conscious of your present condition, I'm, in a way, also very aware of the circumstances and the conditions of the day and age in which I had my being, in which I did my work, in which was my formative material existence.


But I can see now, um, that many of my characters, though they had great depth, there were some that really acted, in a sense, as a sort of... well, how can I put it? they were rather like the waxworks in Madame Tussauds.




You know? They served a purpose... uh, you know, this... I see now, if I could write again that I would write, in certain respects, very differently. But there were many characters that I'm very proud of and who...who really were living people and who really expressed a great deal of not only their own thoughts, but also mine.


I used, you see, like all authors sometimes, you... you have certain thoughts and ideas and you want to get them over, you want to have an impact, you want to perhaps even change society or the way of thinking of society, you want to open the door so a little light can get into the darkened room of men's minds. And so sometimes you use your characters.


Well, you see, I used certain characters for certain things that I wanted [to] change. The workhouse used to worry me. I used to think of all the appalling poverty and the tragedy of the lives, and I tried to bring to them, [in] certain aspects of my works, a great deal of my own innermost feeling for change, the desire for change. I saw the tragedy of lives in squalor and misery.


I mean, Thackery* for instance... well, I mean, Thackery, I mean, he wrote about the people of position and pride and money. He, no doubt, in his own fashion and his own way, served...

*author = William Thackery


...but I was more concerned with people who had no chance, no opportunity, who were downtrodden, who, no matter how much they tried – and they tried often desperately – to lead decent lives and do the right thing, it was impossible, because of their circumstance and situation.


I wanted to see changes, I was concerned with changes for humanity. And I like to think at this particular time that I played some part in bringing these things about. Of course, Shaftesbury*, who's a very great friend of mine, who I believe has tried to contact you before...


*Lord Shaftesbury



Oh yes...



...who is with me now.


God bless him, yes.


He's very interested in all that's transpiring in your Spiritualistic activity. Now, I knew quite a bit about this subject, but I didn't, uh, go into it perhaps as deeply as I'd have liked. I've met, over here, a lot of people who were very much immersed in it and, of course, I've taken a great deal of interest in this for very many years.


But I'm rather wandering off the point, because I was talking about my books... um, of course, I had to use certain characters as, sort of... well, puppets and I pulled the strings up [for] the leg or the arm, according to my disposition.


But the point is that Little Nell*, I always feel rather annoyed with myself about Little Nell.


*character = The Old Curiosity Shop






You know, I think I did 'put the icing on the cake' a bit too thick.

Cook: [Laughing]




But, um, she was a little bit too good. I should have given her a some naughtiness somewhere, should I not? And her poor grandfather, but then I knew such a man, you see, very well. As a matter of fact, he was a relation of mine.






And he was a man that I wrote from memory and a man that I wrote from personal contact and experience. And he was such a good, kind soul, but such a stupid man and, um, [unintelligible] Little Nell. But, you know, thinking back on that, I did make them trot about a lot!

Cook: [Laughter]


I...I...I...I always remember, of course, Mrs Jarley*

*character = waxworks proprietor





Oh, I met such a woman...


I'm sure...


...and, um... there were, in my day of which I speak, there were many of these little traveling sideshows. And, um, she was a real character, she was a woman... you see, um, at my... the time of which I speak there were lots of these small imitations of Madame Tussaud's that were travelling and touring the country.


You see, Madame Tussaud had made a sensation with her exhibition and, um, then several other people came along and they made wax images – dressed them up in costume according to the period. Oh, there were all sorts of Napoleon's standing around in odd places...


I know!


…under canvas! But, um, oh, I could tell you such a lot. Do you know, actually, um, I think of little Tim*, you know...


*character = A Christmas Carol





...and, um, you know, I think a lot of those people... and do you know, it's an extraordinary thing, so many of those people were real people. The situations in which they found themselves in my novels, of course, at times, were quite different to their actual lives when on Earth.


But I drew from humanity, I... I took everything from life - with a few exceptions, I do admit. There were certain exceptions which I... I wanted certain characters and I had to create certain characters, and I don't think, perhaps, they had quite the impact. But nevertheless, they voiced certain things that I wanted to say.


Uriah Heep*, for instance... well, I knew such a man. He worked in an office, uh, for a firm, uh, for many years and every time I had to go there, which was fairly often on business, he used to give me the creeps!

*character = David Copperfield







I always used to think to myself, 'for God's sake man, wash your hands and get it done with,' you know? He always looked, to me, as if he was just drying his hands. It was a little quirk and habit and he always, sort of, spoke from one side of his mouth and lifted one shoulder a bit. And I always thought to myself, at the time, 'my God, if you worked for me, I wouldn't trust you an inch.'


No, no.



How that poor old soul* ever trusted him I just don't know. I suppose, um, he again was another of my weak characters, in a way. He was rather like the grandfather in The Old Curiosity Shop, you know; rather a kind, gentle, but rather stupid man, in a way. He left everything to other people, more or less.

*character = Mr Wickfield


Oh, I could go on telling you about some of these people that I created and some of them, of course, who were real people that I have met here. But I am still hoping to write some new works.



Are you? Yes...



Well, I say I'm still hoping to write some new works, I have written some works. But the thing is, where the deuce could I find someone who can act in the capacity of taking [them] down for me, and who can... you see, this is the problem. I've been here and I've been there, but most writers like to flatter themselves that they're original of course, in the first instance, but very few are.


Actually, when you consider the situations, which are very limited, that human beings can get into... uh, of course. they fall into categories and all these things can be pigeonholed. Every novel, every story, in a sense, can be pigeonholed.


We have the familiar Cinderella story which is universal, which has been told in so many different ways. There are so many, many different stories. I've met Balzac* here. I've met so many people and we all get together sometimes and...

*French novelist


Although we don't have a club, as you'd call it, we do have a place where we do meet, many of us, and we discuss all sorts of things, particularly to do with our writings and our works and there are vast libraries here.


Everyone's work is there [and] can be read. The extraordinary thing...oh, this is something I must tell you; do you know, here, people can take a book and they can open it and they can read it, but it's not like reading cold print.


Here, as you read, it's all picturised and living before you, as it were, like a... these new-fangled Biograph* things that you have, you know.

*an early film projector


Yes, yes!




Almost as if you can see it on a, kind of, mental screen. This is the joy. Of course, the author, when he writes, if he's a good author, he's picturising the situ...the situation and the … and he's picturising the individuals and what they are doing and as they are speaking and what is happening to them; and it's all coming out in, uh, his writing.


But the average person, I should imagine, who reads – unless they too have a very vivid imagination, uh, cannot always, uh, create for themselves a clear picture. In any case, what picture they have may be quite different to the picture the author had intended.

But here you can pick up a novel or a book of interest and you can read it and as you read it the reality of what the author had in mind is picturised in... on the ether or atmosphere. It's almost like this Biograph thing that you have, but much better, because it is a living reality.


You see life... the other thing people don't understand in your world – even the Spiritualists they don't understand – that... that, um... that there are many aspects of life. I don't mean by this; 'different spheres'. That of course is so, according to one's evolution or lack of it. One finds oneself in a set of circumstances, [unintelligible] simply to you, according to your light or lack of it.


But here it is possible, on any particular sphere, uh, to be able to enter into, not only something that you may be interested in - such as the reading of a book or listening to some piece of music - and entering into it and becoming part of it, or it becoming part of you, and you seeing as it was intended by the author and you hearing, not only as the, um, composer intended you should hear, but also the picturisation of what the music represents all happening at the same time.


There are so many aspects of lives, of living and one can enter into... you see, you cannot avoid issues here. You can escape them pretty well on Earth, you can build up a pretty good façade and people will say, 'oh, he is such a charming fellow, you know.' But underneath, because you don't really know him, he's quite a different character. There's none of this false façade here.






You are seen for what you really are, you are accepted for what you are. You see, here, it is the reality of self which is apparent, as clear as crystal to every human being with whom you come in contact - the joy of living here, the joy of expressing.


The joy of being, the joy of knowing and above all the joy of expressing and evolving and developing, and entering into the higher realms of light and illumination and experience – and this is the great joy, this is the great beauty.


Oh, I must come back and tell you. I've got so many things on my mind and I can't clarify them all yet. This is my first real attempt at communicating and you must be patient with me.


But I would like to come and talk to you, not only about my past and my novels, but also about things appertaining to life here – what I'm doing and the people I've met and their way of life and all the things, or some of the things at least, that we do that are common to us in our every... I was going to say 'everyday happenings', but of course, we don't have day and night as you do.


We have life, which is in itself so full, so magnificent, so rewarding. There is no need for fear. No one should fear death. Death is a great door that opens freely, that all may enter and see, with a greater vision and a greater joy and a greater beauty, God's will and purpose.


No one need fear dying. Dying is the beginning of life, in a sense. It is the opening of the door of knowledge and experience. You are, as it were, in the present stages of learning, evolving, experiencing. But it is like the kindergarten, it is like the little school [for] the infant.


You are learning the lessons gradually and experiencing things, but not until you are released and come out into the greater world of experience and knowledge of spiritual truth and realisation, can you hope to ever realise fully the meaning and purpose of God's will. But this will all come.


Another time, my dear ladies, I will come and talk to you, but may the Good Lord bless you both, as I know he will. And continue in your good work, so that you might be a light in the darkness, that others may see and follow the path of righteousness and truth and illumination of the spirit.


My blessings to you.



God bless you. Oh, God bless you.






Bye-bye Mickey. Goodbye Mickey dear.



What an extraordinary sitting wasn't it?



Yes! Yes!





This transcript was created from the audio by K.Jackson-Barnes on November 14th 2021.

The transcript and text on this page is the intellectual property of K.Jackson-Barnes

and must not be copied or republished without permission.

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