Who’s UU: Charles Dickens

CHARLES DICKENS, perhaps the finest English novelist of the 19th century, was born 200 years ago this week.

“I have carried into effect an old idea of mine and joined the Unitarians, who would do something for human improvement if they could; and practice charity and toleration,” Dickens wrote to a friend shortly before he wrote A Christmas Carol. He was an admirer of William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his views on liberal, tolerant, non-sectarian religion, the basic goodness in people, the ‘gospel of the second chance,’ and the desperate need for radical social reform were those of leading British Unitarians of his time.

“The truth of life is love,” he wrote, “and all which negatives love is false.”