Caution: unmitigated whimsy alert!
what our literary heritage might have been
if we had learned earlier in our history
to sue each other.
All rights hereinunder are hereby acknowledged by the author, printer and publisher ,
all relevant statutory fees are hereby certified to have been paid,
all necessary permissions and waivers have been sworn in the Royal Courts of Libel.
Extract from Halsbury's Litigant's Companion, 83rd ed.:
The Litigations Act, 1066
1 Ed. 1, 1066
Whereas we have fowned our subjectes oft times in wont of champione to [their] cause
Let it be knowen and tolled to all men
If plaint of slaunder lye against ony manne save ony [the] kynge lette him be tryed bye twelve knytes and [if] he be founden gylty his demesnes, gudes and chatteles entyre [shall] be forfeit unto [the] plaintiv.
This Act was amended by the provisions of the Restitutions and Compensations Act, 1837 , s.307, paragraph 19,(g) in order to close the 'early morning' lacuna which the courts had long found to impicitly exclude drunken sailors from charges of slander.
Items on Public Display in the London Museum of Litigation:
1. Copy of a letter.
Attachment: Order of the Court of Plaintiffs Rights, County of Kent division.
in accordance with the Court Procedure Rules, Version 3.7
Charles Dickens Esq.
Having been instructed by our clients, Ruben Joshua Fagin Esq.and William Angelus Sykes, QC, and in our own rights and persons, and a plaint having been laid against you:
under the terms of the attached injunctive order
in accordance with the Copied Wrongs Act, 1067 (1 Ed. 2079) ,
you are requested and required:
a) to withdraw from sale or publication in any form, whether as manuscript, leaflet,
pamphlet, broadsheet, book or any other such form, whether handwritten or printed;
b) to destroy all such written matter as is described in paragraph a), ante, being all and
any existing copies of the books, novels or histories known or identifiable as, or substantially similar in character to:
i The fictitious history know as "A Christmas Carol"
ii The fictitious history known as "Oliver Twist"
and to desist from the writing, authoring or creation of any like materials.
Further, your presence is required at the Central Criminal Libel Court, before judge and jury, in accordance with, inter alia, the Litigations Act of 1066, (1 Ed, 1), as amended
to defend yourself against actions for academic trespass to the persons of:
i Ruben Joshua Fagin Esq.
ii William Angelus Sykes, QC
iii Jakob Spirus Marleye, solicitor
iv Benedict Scrogge, solicitor.
The plaints laid are as follows:
1. In the matter of academic trespass to the person of Ruben Joshua Fagin Esq.
In the fictitious history "Oliver Twist", the character "Fagin" is self-evidently a demeaning and insulting caricature of Mr. Fagin's person and of the essence and style of his lawful pursuit of economic gain. The publication of "Oliver Twist" has caused such substantial detriment to his business, gentlemen's equity storage agent, that he has been forced to reduce his interest rate to a mere 27.9%. per diem in order to stay in business. Additionally, he has been forced to close his charitable enterprise, a factory for the gainful employment of parentally disadvantaged boys in the production of white phosphorus friction matches.
2. In the matter of academic trespass to the person of William Angelus Sykes, QC.
As an eminent personage, William Sykes, QC has suffered detriment to his reputation as a gentle and caring defender of those unfortunates who find themselves facing the severest penalties of law for want of an academic education and loving parents. To portray him as his own well known client Bill Styke is doubly insulting. William Sykes, QC, avers that the Styke case was a miscarriage of justice in that Bill Styke, although perhaps guilty of one or two entirely trivial misdemeanors, never intended to harm his many victims to such an extent. William Sykes, QC further avers that whilst the Styke hanging might well have been justified, it was excessive in that it was ordered to be a three-day festive event.
3. In the matter of academic trespass to the person of Jakob Spirus Marleye, solicitor.
4. In the matter of academic trespass to the person of Benedict Scrogge, solicitor.
We jointly aver that "A Christmas Carol" is an obvious parody of our business practices. Aware as we are that our income derives solely from our clients, and as a matter of ethics, it is our custom to:
i purchase only those comforts which we honestly believe to be essential to the
running of our practice.
ii not use our monies for the purchase of any luxurious or frivolous item such as coal.
iii remain open during all holidays and festive occasions, since we consider ourselves to
be an essential part of the nation's most important emergency service, viz. the legal
we jointly and severally aver that you are incorrigibly libellous in that our prior suit in the matter of "Great Expectations" has proven to have no curative effect. You seem unaffected by the exemplary damages you were ordered to pay to that poor unfortunate jilted woman. The fact of the public burning of your house in Rainham should have informed you of the dangers you faced even before writing that 'fictitious' history. Nor do you seem to care that you have been banned, for fear of causing riot, from ever setting foot on Australian soil.
We shall ask the court to take into consideration the allegations made by you following the derailment of the steam railway train in which you were traveling. No right thinking person could believe that the rail was taken up accidentally by company employees. It is more likely, we aver, that it was a complot between yourself and unknown collaborators to stage an 'accident' for purposes of financial gain.
We believe that no award of exemplary damages can ever cause you to desist.
we shall seek the maximum penalty prescribed by law.
2. An advertisement in the London Illustrated:
Marleye&Scrogge, Solicitors, are pleased to inform members of the public that, as is our custom, we shall remain open at all hours during the forthcoming seven day festive distribution of assetts and public hanging of the notorious serial criminal and recidivist, Charles Dickens.
3. From a news story in the London Illustrated:
Despite her unabated grief, Her Majesty was graciously pleased to appear in public for the first time since the sad demise of His Royal Highness when she attended the Dickens festivities. She expressed, however, her preference for multiple hangings and was overheard by our journalist to remark: "One is not amusing."