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The remains of Charles Dickens' cat, and his anti-Twitter URL tool

May 5, 2009 |  4:33 pm


My old Gothamist colleagues got a private tour of the New York Public Library and took many photos, including this one of an unusual piece in the Berg Collection there. It's Charles Dickens' letter opener, with a handle made from the paw of Dickens' deceased -- and, I'm assuming, beloved -- pet cat.

Yes. Um. Well, then.

In other Dickens news, someone has come up with a URL lengthener and named it for the prolific, prolix novelist. Dickensurl.com is the antithesis of the many URL shorteners (like tinyurl.com) that have cropped up to facilitate linking to stuff from Twitter, which allows only 140 characters per post. By plugging a link into a shortener, you get a much shorter URL that works just like the regular link but takes up less space. Dickensurl.com provides links that work, too, but embedded within them are visible pieces of Dickens' prose, as well as an alternate, Dicken-branded short version. Below, there are three links to take you to the site that introduced me to Dickensurl.com.

Tinyurl version: http://tinyurl.com/dnywcu

Regular version: http://www.vqronline.org/blog/2009/04/29/twitter-dickens/

Dickensurl version, from "A Tale of Two Cities": http://dickensurl.com/9b37/For_Im_the_devil_at_quick_mistakes_and_when_I_make_one_it_takes_the_form_of_Lead

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit: Jen Carlson / Gothamist