QUESTION: Philadelphia's own Free Library has in its collection a very special one-of-a-kind piece - the raven Charles Dickens called a pet. What was its name?
Way back on Monday, we started talking about street organs. It was all triggered by a three-foot tall wheeled case designed to look like four volumes in the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, written by the great English author Charles Dickens in 1859. The original book is Dickens' most famous piece of historical fiction, depicting the awful treatment of the French peasant class by members of the aristocracy, which led to the French Revolution and severe retribution. Paris is one of the cities told about. The other is Dickens' home of London, and he serves to create parallels in the treatment of the people in both urban centers - a portent of things to come in Great Britain's capitol?
Unquestionably, the most famous thing about A Tale of Two Cities is its opening line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" and so on and so forth. Yes, it's a classic, and you should definitely read it. Unfortunately, you will not have the opportunity to do so here at the American Treasure Tour because our copy of it is not actually a book. You'll notice in the image above that ours is not actually a book, but a cabinet on wheels. Now, if you were to ask why we have a three foot tall mobile cabinet designed to replicate a four volume set for A Tale of Two Cities, well, that's a whole different matter.
ANSWER: B) Grip. Dickens' raven was likely the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem. He died in 1841.