Posted on February 8, 2022 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

It's certainly interesting and newsworthy that a note Charles Dickens wrote to himself over a hundred years ago has finally been deciphered.

But the better story within the story might be the background of the man who won the University of Leicester's contest to decode the author's shorthand.

Shane Baggs, a computer technical support specialist from San Jose, California, hasn't read a single Dickens novel and, he told the New York Times, he received "mostly C grades in literature" back in his school days.

Nevertheless, he and the many others who put their heads to the challenge managed to unscramble about 70 percent of the note.

So what was in the letter?

It seems to be a copy Dickens made for himself of a longer — angry — letter he sent to the Times of London over an advertising dispute.

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