Abel Magwitch (Great Expectations) Abel Magwich is a central character in Charles Dickens” famous 1861 novel, Great Expectations, who actually provides the hero, “Pip”, with those same “great expectations”. Abel is an escaped convicted criminal when he first meets up with Pip, and terrorizes the boy into stealing food for him. After being recaptured and deported to Australia, Abel remembers Pip with kindness. Having made a fortune in sheep farming, he sends money to Pip under anonymity, allowing Pip to rise in the social classes. Although this windfall initially leads Pip onto a shallow path of social climbing and material procurement, he is brought up short by the realization that his riches have come to him from a convict. When they finally meet again, it is Abel’s gratitude and affection that largely cause Pip’s reassessment of his life and his resolve to become a better man. When poor Abel is brought to trial yet again, it is Pip who stays with him to the end, easing his benefactor into a happy death.
Guess God Thinks I'm Abel - a song by Oasis
Abel's Island (William Steig) - Newbery Award winner. One summer day, newlywed mice Abel and Amanda are out for a picnic in the woods when they are caught in a sudden storm--a "full-fledged, screaming hurricane" to be precise. As they take refuge in a cave, a wind scoops up Amanda's scarf, and Abel foolishly lunges from safety to retrieve it. So begins William Steig's “Abel's Island”, the ensuing adventures of this rather foppish mouse as he comes head to head with nature. Amazingly, Abel is swept up in a stream, then a river, then eventually marooned on an island (about 12,000 tails long). He is sure that his rescue is imminent; but he is not so lucky. What will this intelligent, imaginative rodent do to get off the island and back to his beloved Amanda? Recommended for ages 7-10.
Abel's Moon (Shirley Hughes) - After Abel Grable returns from working out of the country, he tells his wife and sons all about his adventures. He describes camping out in jungles and taking supplies by riverboat to people in places with no electricity, with only the moon to guide the way. Because the boys love hearing these stories so much, Abel decides to record them. Finding it too noisy to work inside, he takes a table out in the yard, and writes for many hours. Then he goes off again. Using the table at which he wrote, Noah and Adam re-create their father's adventures or pretend that the table is a machine that can take them to the moon. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Cain and Abel : Finding the Fruits of Peace (Sandy Eisenberg Sasso) - In this retelling of the Bible story, a rabbi shows how the idyllic world of "the first children" was marred and then destroyed by jealousy, unkind words, anger, and, finally, murder. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Famous People Named Abel - Abel Tasman (Dutch explorer who discovered New Zealand); Abel (soccer player); Abel Ferrara (film director); Abel Gance (film director);Abel Pacheco (former President of Costa Rica); Abel Xavier (soccer player)
Famous People Who Named Their Son Abel - Amy Poehler (comic/actress); Will Arnett (comic/actor)
Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603–1659) - Abel Tasman was a Dutch mariner, merchant and explorer most known for his discovery of Tasmania, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands during his voyage of 1642-43. He was the first known European expedition to reach these islands and come into contact with the native Maori people. Tasmania was obviously named after him (it had formerly been known as Van Diemen’s Land). Enduring rough waters and unknown seas, Tasman was an “Abel” seafarer. It would be another century and James Cook’s voyages before Tasmania and New Zealand would be visited again by Europeans. Certainly the Maori people must have been scratching their heads…