Today is Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday and Google has a special doodle for him. Most people don’t really think of Charles Dickens when they think of Steampunk, which is too bad. Sure, he didn’t write about time machines or atomic submarines, but his works provide a rich view into 19th century London life, and inform the Victorian part of the Steampunk aesthetic like nothing else.

If you haven’t read any Dickens, maybe it’s time you did. Most of it is available free for the Kindle or the Nook.