A father figure from Dickens for Fathers' Day. Joe Gargery…
"But I did mind you, Pip," he returned with tender simplicity. "When I offered to your sister to keep company, and to be asked in church at such times as she was willing and ready to come to the forge, I said to her, 'And bring the poor little child. God bless the poor little child,' I said to your sister, 'there's room for him at the forge!'"
I broke out crying and begging pardon, and hugged Joe round the neck: who dropped the poker to hug me, and to say, "Ever the best of friends; an't us, Pip? Don't cry, old chap!"
In Great Expectations, Joe is, of course, Pip's brother-in-law. But he remains the closest thing to a father that our hero has to hand.
Simple and good-hearted, loving and flawed, Joe's example equips Pip for a life in the big city. Well done Joe. And well done fathers (and father figures) everywhere.
Happy Fathers' Day all!
The Shakespeare and Dickens walk takes place today at 2:00p.m meeting at St Paul's Underground.
A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.