Sunday, December 6, 2015

Five of literature’s most unappetizing mealtime gatherings

At the Guardian, Charlotte Seager tagged the top five spoiled suppers in literature, including:
Extra helping of workhouse gruel in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

No list of ruined meals in fiction would be complete without this heartbreaking story. Though a small bowl of gruel could scarcely be called supper, the children’s dinner at the workhouse is certainly spoiled when a small voice addresses the rotund master serving the thin porridge: “Please, sir, I want some more.” Oliver is quickly struck with the ladle and marched to a gentlemen in a white waistcoat, who shrieks: “That boy will be hung … I am never more convinced of anything in my life, than I am that that boy will come to be hung.” Luckily, little Oliver does not hang. He is sold by the parish to an undertaker as an apprentice, and begins his capricious journey across London.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Oliver Twist is among Mikita Brottman's top ten literary canines, Mal Peet's top ten list of books that his children liked to have read to them and that he liked reading, and John Mullan's ten best handkerchiefs in literature; it is one of John Inverdale's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue