In an illustrative nod to the late and great English author Charles Dickens on his 200th birthday, Google's old-fashioned doodle of the day features some of his most famous characters, including Oliver from "Oliver Twist," Estella from "Great Expectations," and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol."
The celebratory doodle also happens to be the first one "to specifically promote a product service," according to Search Engine Watch. "In this case, when you click on the search term you are taken directly to a search on Google Books in which the top 'natural' results, including the ad, offer a free Google ebook."
While the works listed above and a few others--like "David Copperfield," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"--are still well-known worldwide to this day, the talented writer actually finished more than 50 novels, short stories, plays and more in his 58 years. Between his birth in Portsmouth, England, to his death in his home at Gad's Hill Place, Dickens garnered attention for his literary prowess, often unforgiving humor, and, perhaps most importantly, his complex characters.
Another renowned English writer, G.K. Chesterton, once wrote of Dickens:
The art of Dickens was the most exquisite of arts: it was the art of enjoying everybody. Dickens, being a very human writer, had to be a very human being; he had his fault and sensibilities in a strong degree; and I do not for a moment maintain that he enjoyed everybody in his daily life. But he enjoyed everybody in his books: and everybody has enjoyed everybody in his books even till today.
Despite his celebrity, Dickens seemed to live up to this description, not only in his works, but in his personal letters. In one to fellow author Wilkie Collins, Dickens describes his accomplished life in a straightforward, humble, and humourous tone, finishing with:
This is the first time I ever set down even these particulars, and, glancing them over, I feel like a wild beast in a caravan describing himself in the keeper's absence.
Check out the new Google Doodle (below) and scroll down to the slideshow to view or favorite Doodles ever.