Google has hit us with a double whammy this morning. Not only does its most recent Doodle celebrate the life of someone that we've actually heard of for a change - Charles Dickens - it is also in recognition of what we'd call an actual milestone; it would have been his 200th birthday.

So no celebrating the 132nd birthday of Bulgarian composer Dimitar Stoitchkov, 87 years since Valerie Dancerton - the famous classical ballerina - died, or the 173rd anniversary of the discovery of the seven legged Septospider*

No, this is a genuine event and is celebrated with a gorgeous Doodle that features some of the famous author's most recognisable characters including Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Pip.

He was born in Portsmouth in 1812 and in 1833 his first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, was published in the London periodical Monthly Magazine. He would go on to write such other timeless classics as David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend, A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations.

Dickens died of cerebral haemorrhage on 9 June 1870 in Gad’s Hill. His tomb is inscribed: "He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world."

When you click the Doodle, you aren't given the usual search results; it defaults to give you Charles Dickens titles from the Google Books library. There are far worse ways of wasting the day by getting lost in a couple....

*We may have made these events up.