Monday 6 February 2012 by Waylandsmithy

Dickens biographers ‘lack ability to understand modern children’

Modern children have slammed the short attention span of Dickens biographers, claiming some can’t watch more than a few minutes of Nickelodeon without losing the will to live.

With their ability to use tablets, smartphones and interactive TVs, children today are used to consuming several different types of media at once.

But while some children have managed to sit through most of ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’ or have seen the Victorian writer appear in Doctor Who, fewer than 10% of Dickens biographers can describe what happened in the last series of Tracy Beaker.

Parents who have seen costume dramas about Dickens’ novels have some sympathy for their children. “We got guilt-tripped into buying Oscar the complete works of Shakespeare last term”, admitted mum Julie Francis.

“When we saw how big they were, we got our son to stick them straight back on eBay. No one should be forced to read anything thicker than Heat magazine.”

Francis tried forcing her son to read old books that English professors insist are more important than new ones. “Oscar tried thumbing through a couple of pages, but it was all ‘thousts’, ‘prithees’ and ‘lorksalordies’. It was almost as if the entire English language had moved on and left these relics behind, preserved for the sole purpose of elitist bullying.”

Children have offered to help Dickens biographers read something less than 200 years old, and have set up a charity to support people who have wasted their lives insisting the books they like are really important.

“Just £89 can buy a Kindle for a Dickens biographer, which could introduce them to books written since the 1800s”, explained 11 year-old Isaac Marshall.

“If we can persuade just one patronising book nazi to enjoy a bit of Harry Potter, then our work will have been a success. The next stage will be to get them to sit through a film, without claiming the book it’s based on is much- ooh, look! A squirrel!”

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